Top image

Local Government Reform

Local Government Reform

May 2015 - Update

In February of this year, the Minister announced that the State Government would put its local government reform agenda on hold; Governor’s orders for boundary adjustments that were not supported by the councils involved were subsequently revoked. The City of Nedlands welcomed the decision.

The Premier also announced that the Government would still proceed with the City of Perth Act. The proposed City of Perth Act seeks to expand the boundary of the City of Perth to encompass QEII Medical Centre, Hollywood Hospital, the University of Western Australia and surrounding residential areas, all of which currently sit in the City of Nedlands.

At a Council meeting on 24 February 2015, council unanimously carried a notice of motion that Council vigorously pursue:

  • The retention of the Hollywood Private Hospital within the City of Nedlands; and
  • The retention of the University of WA and the QEII Medical Centre within the Western Suburbs.

Since this motion, the City has had meetings with the Minister and various Members of Parliament to explain the Council’s concerns on this issue. Hollywood Hospital is a major ratepayer to the City, providing more than $630,000 in rates annually. The loss of the hospital would represent a significant cut in annual revenue and would eventually impact on the level of services provided to the local community.

To read an article publiched on the ABC News website in relation to the City of Perth Act click here

March 2015

Mayor’s message
On behalf of the City of Nedlands, I would like to thank the Hon. Premier Colin Barnett for his decision to stop the WA government pursuing forced amalgamations of Nedlands with other local authorities.

The City remains opposed to the State Government’s proposal to expand the City of Perth boundary.

The City has opposed forced amalgamations with relatively minor expense. Over the past five years, the City estimates it has expended less than $100,000 in direct cash on the failed process, around half of which has be reimbursed by the government for due diligence work. The Mayor and Councillors, CEO and executive staff have also expended considerable time and effort in responding to the State Government’s failed program. 

The City used in-house expertise and resources to keep costs to a minimum and not waste ratepayers’ money on outside assistance.

While the Government has dropped its plan to force amalgamations, it is continuing with its City of Perth Act. The City understands the Act will seek to expand the boundary of the City of Perth to encompass QEII Medical Centre, Hollywood Hospital, the University of Western Australia and surrounding residential areas.

The Government’s plans to continue with the City of Perth Act remain a concern because of the potential loss of rates from one of the City of Nedlands’ largest ratepayers, Hollywood Hospital. This would have a significant effect on the City’s revenue as the hospital brings in about $600,000 in rates, out of a total rate revenue from all sources of $19.3 million.

The City of Perth Act would also have an impact on the sense of community for the residential areas affected by the proposed Act, with Kings Park acting as an effective barrier between the expanded City of Perth and the acquired areas.

The residential community surrounding UWA and QEII looks to Nedlands for core amenities such as nearby shopping centres, local recreational facilities, schools and parks. These residential areas should remain with the City of Nedlands, as they will continue to use the facilities and services provided by the City.

The City of Nedlands believes that UWA, QEII and Hollywood Hospital have long been connected to and associated with the Western Suburbs. These are large institutions that impact on the everyday lives, activities and safety of the local community and they should remain with the Western Suburbs.

Max Hipkins, Mayor

January 2015 - City proposes to adopt 'orphaned' area of Mt Claremont

At a special council meeting held on the 9 January 2015, the City resolved to put forward a proposal to adopt the ‘orphaned’ area (pictured below) of Mt Claremont that has been left out of the Local Government Advisory Board’s (LGAB) recommendation for the soon to be enlarged City of Subiaco, which will combine the Town of Cambridge and the current City of Subiaco. The land proposed to be joined with the City of Nedlands currently sits within the Town of Cambridge.

The proposal was submitted to the LGAB on Tuesday 13 January 2015. To view the submission click here or on the downloads below.

Update: On Thursday 22 January, the City received a response from the Local Government Advisory Board in regards to the proposal submitted.

The response indicated that the proposal was invalid as it could not be dealt with by the Board until the existence of the district to which it relates (this is the soon to be enlarged City of Subiaco). Any proposals in relation to boundary amendments will need to be submitted to the Board after 1 July 2015.

October 2014 - Announcement from the Minister for Local Government

On Wednesday 22 October, the Minister for Local Government Tony Simpson made an announcement on the Metropolitan Local Government Reform. In the announcement he stated that the Government had accepted all Local Government Advisory Board recommendations for boundaries, except two which included the City of Perth/ Vincent and the merger of the Western Suburbs.


The Government does support the amalgamation of the western suburbs council which includes City of Nedlands and the towns of Claremont, Cottesloe, Mosman Park and Peppermint Grove which they wish to call the City of Riversea. However, they believe that city icons such as UWA, the QE11 Medical Centre and Kings Park should be included within the City of Perth boundaries and need to introduce a City of Perth Act before a merger of the western Suburbs can be implemented.
For more information on the announcement and recent updates click here.

Local Government Reform Background

On 30 July 2013, the Minister for Local Government Tony Simpson announced that the City of Nedlands would be merged into one western suburbs council.

The so called “G7” would amalgamate the local government authorities of Nedlands, Claremont, Subiaco, Mosman Park, Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove, plus parts of Fremantle and Stirling. The proposed council would have around 113,000 residents with UWA, the QE11 Medical Centre and Hollywood Private Hospital being absorbed into the expanded City of Perth.

In October 2013, the City undertook a community survey to assess the community’s views on the government’s proposal through a specialist research and strategy firm. Of those surveyed, 56 per cent did not support the proposal to merge seven councils. 29 per cent supported the proposal and 15 per cent were unsure. Also, interestingly 83% of respondents believed that electors should retain a right to request a poll so they can vote on council mergers.

Following the release of the Local Government Reform proposals, the Minister invited Councils to submit their recommendations for boundary changes. The City of Nedlands decided not to make a proposal and instead prepared a submission to oppose the “G7” merger. The City is not opposed to amalgamations but is opposed to any boundary changes that cannot ultimately be voted on by the electors.

The City of Nedlands has been included in nine of the proposals including ones from Towns of Cambridge, Claremont and Mosman Park, Cities of Perth and Subiaco and the Minister for Local Government. The submissions include the Town of Cambridge proposing to take parts of Swanbourne and Mt Claremont, Mosman Park proposing a G5 council, and the City of Perth proposing to take parts of Nedlands, Crawley and the hospital precinct. To view the nine proposals visit dlgc.wa.gov.au/metroinquiries

Council’s submission on Local Government Reform

A number of proposals were made to the Local Government Advisory Board during 2012-2014 regarding proposed local government boundary changes. Nine of these proposals directly affected the City of Nedlands. The City therefore responded to each of these proposals in two separate submissions.

A copy of the City’s March 2014 submission is available here. A copy of the City’s June 2014 submission is available here. Links to the appendices and attachments referred to are below.

For more information regarding Metropolitan Local Government Reform, please refer to the Department of Local Government and Community’s website, metroreform.dlg.wa.gov.au

 

Frequently asked questions

Amalgamation survey report

Local government reform letter to residents

 

Documents 
Local Government Advisory Board Submission Form
Collaborative Projects between City of Nedlands and University of Western Australia/Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre
City of Nedlands and UWA-QEII Spatial Study February 2014
Community views on proposed Council Amalgamations November 2013
Nedlands 2023 Making it Happen 2013-2017 Corporate Business Plan
Nedlands 2013-2023 Strategic Community Plan
City of Nedlands Budget for the year ending 30 June 2014
Wither the Western Suburbs? Professor Brian Dollery October 2008
Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Financial Position Review 30 May 2012
Submission to the Local Governtment Advisory Board June 2014

Documents

Local Government Advisory Board Submission Form

Collaborative Projects between City of Nedlands and University of Western Australia/Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre

City of Nedlands and UWA-QEII Spatial Study February 2014

Community views on proposed Council Amalgamations November 2013

Nedlands 2023 Making it Happen 2013-2017 Corporate Business Plan

Nedlands 2013-2023 Strategic Community Plan

City of Nedlands Budget for the year ending 30 June 2014

Wither the Western Suburbs? Professor Brian Dollery October 2008

Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Financial Position Review 30 May 2012

Submission to the Local Governtment Advisory Board June 2014