WA councils amalgamate

Local Government Minister John Castrilli has congratulated electors from the City of Geraldton-Greenough and the Shire of Mullewa for their endorsement of local government amalgamation.
Mr Castrilli said the outcome was very pleasing and proved electors believed reform was worth fighting for.
 “The amalgamation of the City of Geraldton-Greenough and the Shire of Mullewa will enable local governments to deliver a higher level and more diverse range of services.
“In particular, the Mullewa community will gain from being a part of a bigger local government body, financially strong and able to address challenges emerging in the future.
He believed this was a positive outcome for the reform of local government in the state.
“It is also important to congratulate the mayor of Geraldton-Greenough, the shire president of Mullewa, the elected members and the staff for presenting this opportunity to their communities,” he said.
“They have all displayed strong leadership in recognising the positive impact of reform.”
The poll required at least 50 per cent of electors from the respective local governments to participate, and a majority of these to vote against the Local Government Advisory Board’s recommendation to amalgamate for it to be overturned, the assumption being that people who don’t vote support the amalgamation.
The Department of Local Government will now undertake the statutory processes to give effect to the amalgamation and a commissioner will be appointed to oversee the practical steps necessary in bringing together the operations of the local governments.
“I will work closely with those local governments which have embraced this process to date and hope that following this positive result, other local governments follow suit,” Mr Castrilli said.
Off the back of the amalgamation, the Shire of Perenjori – WA voted not to accept a local government amalgamation proposal.
Mr Castrilli said the outcome of a poll conducted on Saturday meant an amalgamation between the shires of Perenjori, Mingenew, Morawa and Three Springs would not proceed.
“This is a lost opportunity for those local governments involved and the impact will adversely affect the future of the broader community which will not reap the benefits of reform,” he said.
“The Perenjori, Mingenew, Morawa and Three Springs communities will miss out on cost savings and a range of new services the merged group had indicated it would deliver, including economic development, tourism, emergency services management and promotion.
Mr Castrilli was disappointed with the outcome, but recognised this was a voluntary process.

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