|Posted by Ian Thurston on November 18, 2013 at 11:05 PM||comments (0)|
The City of Cockburn is running a campaign to save the city from being “carved up” under the proposed local government amalgamations. The City has published a special “Goodbye Cockburn” edition of Cockburn Soundings on local government reform that is being sent to all ratepayers.
Cockburn is requesting ratepayers to sign petitions that urge the state government to maintain the City of Cockburn within its current boundaries.
The BRG Committee has reviewed the materials published by Cockburn and has resolved to take no active involvement in the City’s campaign.
The Committee acknowledges the need for local government reform in the Perth metropolitan area and the efficiencies that it should bring. The Committee supports the amalgamation of Cockburn with Kwinana for such reasons. Clearly, though, the new city should include the valuable council offices and depot in Spearwood.
The Committee was concerned that an amalgamation of Cockburn with Kwinana would lead to a rate rise for Cockburn residents. Cockburn’s GRV rate in the dollar is 5 cents, whereas Kwinana’s is 8 cents. However, the state government made this statement on 18 November:
Regulations under the Local Government Act give the new ongoing local governments extra discretion to use differential rating powers.
Under the Regulations, they can apply differential rates based on ‘area’ for a period of five years to assist in phasing in any changes.
This would allow Kwinana’s GRV rates in the dollar to be higher than Cockburn’s for a transitionary period of 5 years.
In the new year, the state government’s Local Government Advisory Board will review the proposed local government boundaries and other arrangements. Public submissions will be sought and the Banjup Residents Group will likely make one. Members’ instructions will likely be sought at the AGM in February.