Bibra Lake loss to cost Cockburn ‘millions’

SHIFTING Bibra Lake into the City of Melville will cost local roads programs $45 million over the next 10 years, Cockburn city council has warned.

It adds its ratepayers will also have to cough up another $15 million to $30 million to replace a freehold depot in the suburb, because its ownership will transfer to Melville.

The warnings come as Cockburn prepares to tell the WA local government advisory board it wants draft boundaries with Fremantle and Melville shifted, to reclaim 11,151 of 28,769 residents proposed to “move” into the neighbouring cities.

The board’s draft recommendation sees Cockburn/Kwinana losing North Coogee, Hamilton Hill, Coolbellup, North Lake and Bibra Lake to a bigger Fremantle and a revised Melville. Cockburn’s reply acknowledges the virtual amalgamation with Kwinana but wants the northern boundary shifted to the Roe Highway road reserve.

“That is, North Lake, Coolbellup and Leeming and Jandakot airport (including Jandakot city) being transferred to the City of Melville and North Hamilton Hill (north of Roe reserve) and North Coogee (to McTaggart Cove) being transferred to Fremantle.”

“This outcome is a better alternative than the board’s intended recommendation to transfer 28,769 residents,” the council’s submission will state.

The officers’ recommendation stressed “time is of the essence” to submit the “better” model before the advisory board’s August 14 deadline.

Cockburn notes the cost of amalgamation has been pencilled in at $7.5 million, “but this cost is likely to be higher due to the greater complexity associated with a northern boundary change”.

Cockburn also states Walgab’s proposal dramatically impacts on future-proofing, with the operating surplus set to fall from $8.96 million to $3.27 million in 2014/15.
“This stymies the ability of a high growth local government to not only construct new assets, but replace or upgrade old infrastructure.

“Projects will either be delayed, debt-funded or scrapped.

“Melville and Fremantle are not growth local governments and as such are not still building new roads, civic or community assets.

“Melville already runs an extensive operating surplus, therefore providing them with more industrial rating income means they will only become substantially wealthier at the expense of ratepayers of Cockburn/Kwinana.”


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