Liberals junk Perth Council


By Michael Boswell

PERTH — The WA Liberal government will dissolve the City of Perth council at the end of 1993. Since the former Labor government introduced adult suffrage in local government in the mid-'80s, pressure has been applied by city business and property owners to isolate the city centre from any broader accountability.

Premier Richard Court announced that one of Perth's largest councils (in residents) will be divided into four local governments. The three suburban "towns" of Cambridge, Shepperton and Vincent each have populations in excess of 23,000. The new "Capital City of Perth" has only 9000 residents.

The government has ensured that the proposed Capital City has a large rate-earning potential and few financial problems. Costly items, such as the upgrading and maintain of Beatty Park Swimming Pool and Perry Lakes, are located in the poorer residential towns.

The boundary extends across the Swan River so that the almost $1 million paid yearly by the Burswood Casino goes to the City and not to residential Shepperton.

Peter Lesiter of Carlisle Ratepayers and Residents' Association says that money is needed in the Shepperton area. Burswood is historically and geographically part of the proposed Shepperton Council.

A majority of Perth City councillors condemned the move. Councillor Alannah Mac Teirnan wondered how now "could we get a city authority representing more than commercial

Municipal Association President Joe North condemned the breach of the "principle of democracy". Labor leader Carmen Lawrence called for a referendum "to give the City's 80,000 citizen a say".

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Building Owners and Managers Association warmly welcomed the Liberal decree. Both these bodies have gained representation on the new council City Development Committee.