Fremantle council has voted to sacrifice the suburb of Samson in order to gain traction with the Barnett government on mergers.
The council is desperately trying to head off the Fremantle-Melville merger, formally suggesting an alternative that sees Freo swallow East Freo and extending its eastern border to Stock Road.
That means ceding Samson and part of O’Connor to Melville while picking up Bicton and Palmyra.
The move has upset locals of the suburb, formed when Stock Road cut through the guts of a-then much bigger Hilton.
“I know a lot of other residents in Samson who would not be happy about it,” says Vic Boreham, who’s lived there 38 years.
“When we moved into Samson in 1975 it wasn’t called Samson then, it was called Hilton. It wasn’t until a few years later it was called Samson after Frederick Samson.
“I’m a Fremantle resident and proud of it.”
Mayor Brad Pettitt told a special council meeting Monday night— it was sad to let Samson go but trying to keep it would weaken the council’s submission to the local government panel.
Hilton ward councillor Sam Wainwright moved a motion to keep Samson in Freo but it was lost.
“It’s named after Fremantle’s most famous mayor and most importantly, my reading of the recent survey is that a majority of its residents want to stay with Fremantle.
“Furthermore the City of Fremantle submission suggests that a ‘stage 2’ in the reform process could see Samson plus Willagee, Coolbellup and parts of Kardinya join with Fremantle.
“Frankly it would be pretty absurd for Samson to be handed over to Melville and then handed back to Fremantle 10 years later.”
Fremantle’s submission also suggests stretching its borders as far as Phoenix Road, gobbling up much of Hamilton Hill and all of North Coogee and Port Coogee (that’s unlikely to win favour from neighbouring Cockburn). North, the city wants North Fremantle to remain in the port city. It also wants Rottnest within its borders.
by BRENDAN FOSTER