The Local Government Advisory Board has recommended against the transfer of part of Canning Vale from the City of Gosnells to the City of Canning.
Local Government Minister Paul Omodei said today he had accepted the board’s recommendation and the transfer would therefore not occur. However, he pointed out that under the Local Government Act, even if he had disagreed with the board’s recommendation, he could not overrule it.
Mr Omodei said the board had made it clear that the Canning Vale Progress Association, which proposed the transfer, had made a good case.
On the other hand, the board had expressed concern to him about the quality of the information provided by the City of Gosnells and used by it in its publicity during the long-running community debate about the proposal.
“This is not the first time the board has commented on the quality of material used by local governments in boundary debates,” Mr Omodei said.
“I remind local governments that their communications with their residents should at all times be truthful, rational and balanced.
“This is fundamental to the proper development of democratic communities.”
In its report, the board found that residents of the area had a close association with other residents of Canning Vale (in the City of Canning), were regular users of facilities such as schools and shops there, and were generally westward looking.
It found they paid higher rates than ratepayers in other parts of Gosnells and Canning Vale and that there was general dissatisfaction with the quality of services and the responsiveness of the City of Gosnells to their concerns.
The board also found that less than half the affected area had been developed and as the balance was developed, there were likely to be significant changes in the use of facilities in Canning Vale.
Residential developments in Southern River, south of the affected area, were likely to lead to new associations being formed, leading to a greater eastward focus for residents of the affected area.
Because of the changes likely to arise from future development, the board felt it was premature to change boundaries.
The board also found that investment by the Gosnells community in the affected area by way of capital works was significantly less than claimed by the City of Gosnells.
It also commented that some of the residents‘ concerns about the City of Gosnells were valid, but did not consider them a sufficient basis in themselves to justify boundary change.
“The board trusts that the City of Gosnells will take note of the issues that this inquiry has uncovered and take action to address the concerns of the affected area as an important section of the Gosnells community,” the report said.
In its final recommendation the board said that while it was sympathetic to the proponents’ submission, it believed it was premature to change boundaries and that boundaries within the whole of the Canning Vale/Southern River region should be reviewed at an appropriate time.
Mr Omodei said he accepted that the decision would be disappointing for the proponents, but they could make another application in two years’ time or later, as they assessed the changes brought by further development.
Media contact: Hugh Ryan 9213 6700