swandaring? what does amalgamation mean?

W.A Premier Barnett likes the idea and Mundaring Shire CEO Jonathon Throssell seems interested. But the Shire of Kalamunda are distinctly cool on the concept. No one seems to know exactly what amalgamation means, who’s amalgamating with who, or what exactly the process is to get there.

Apart from a few ‘minor boundary adjustments’ between neighbouring shires, the Kalamunda Shire sees ‘no obvious case for amalgamation’ with any other adjoining local government. Kalamunda Shire outline some of their ideas here.

‘Super-Shire’ the ‘Texas’ of Shires? Mundaring in green with Swan to the north and Kalamunda to the south

Meanwhile at Mundaring, Mr Throssell said the Shire is being proactive in preparing for any possible change and that the shire is well positioned should amalgamation eventuate. He acknowledged that no decisions on amalgamation could be made until after the next state election in 2013. ” The uncertainty caused by a further consultation period, is disappointing, but we continue to focus on positioning ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities that change presents..”

Mr Throssell added, “….however, we have not seen any evidence that supports a need for the Shire to amalgamate”

Mundaring Shire statement here.

Frank Albans, MLA for Swan Hills, believes a limited revenue base is the largest obstacle for Mundaring Shire being able to meet the needs of Hills residents and sees no other solution, apart from amalgamation. “The Shire have no real capacity for income expansion due to its topography – its hills, vegetation, fire and sewerage  issues,” Mr Albans told The Eye.

Mr Albans believes a lack of financial capacity has left the Shire unable to respond to residents needs. “My office is regularly contacted by constituents who have made requests to the Shire only to be told, “the Shire of Mundaring do not have the resources.” This means residents are frequently knocked back for basic, yet critical services like verge maintenance.

Mr Albans, whose electorate encompasses the lion’s share of a hypothetical super-shire, absorbing Mundaring, Kalamunda and Swan, reckons amalgamation might be the panacea to the widening gulf between community expectation and resources.

“Should the Shire merge with the City of Swan there will be enormous growth potential, especially with the Northern Ellenbrook /South Bullsbrook Commercial Precinct it will be better able to financially sustain the Hills portion of environmentally sensitive issues and better maintain individual historic community sites, our halls and sporting facilities”.

Whatever these opportunities, implications and advantages they are yet to be fully explained. “We’re in a unique situation in the Hills,” said one Mundaring resident. “I’m not clear that we always share the same concerns as the residents of other areas. Bushfire prevention is at least one serious issue we face up here. I’m sure they’ve got their own priorities too.”

The Eye is seeking the City of Swan’s position on amalgamation.

Review Panel Final Report

Amalgamation;

Jonathon Throssell   Maybe/ YES

Frank Albans              YES

Kalamunda Shire       NO

City of Swan                  ?

What do you think?

 

 

One Comment

  1. Stella Beswick says:

    Not liking Swandaring at all!

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