Local Government is seeking a commitment to extend the poll provisions contained in Schedule 2.1 of the Local Government Act 1995 to provide any community whose Local Government is undergoing a boundary change or amalgamation with the opportunity to demand a binding poll of electors.

During the Local Government Metropolitan Reform process there was considerable discussion in the Local Government sector regarding the poll provisions contained in Schedule 2.1 of the Local  Government Act 1995.

The poll provisions provide the opportunity for the community, whose Local Government is involved in
an amalgamation, to demand a poll of electors the result of which, if turnout is 50 percent or greater, is
binding on the Minister for Local Government.

WALGA’s position on the poll provisions is that they should be extended to include communities whose
Local Government is undergoing a boundary change as well as an amalgamation:

Schedule 2.1 of the Local Government Act 1995 should be amended so that the electors of a
Local Government affected by any boundary change or amalgamation proposal are entitled to
petition the Minister for a binding poll.


Responses WALGA has received from political parties:

WA Labor:
WA Labor state the extension of poll provisions relating to Local Government boundary change proposals will be considered as part of the comprehensive review of the Act. During the Barnett Government's faild amalgamations process, the Leader of the Opposition Mark McGowan promised to amend the Act so that the Dadour provisions are preserved, and no Government can allow the forcing together of total councils without a community say.

The Greens WA:
The Greens WA are very supportive of all of the ten priority areas with the focus on improving the quality of life of citizens. This is akin to our principle that Local Government has a valuable role as the third tier of government and in local governance and the representation of local issues and delivery of essential community services.

The National Party of WA:
The Nationals do not support forced Local Government amalgamation. This was evident in our
Parliamentary opposition to the City of Perth Act, and our withdrawal from supporting the Liberal Party’s reform agenda. Both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party supported forced Local Government
amalgamation when the City of Perth Act came before the Parliament. Only The Nationals are opposed
to forced Local Government amalgamation.

The Nationals understand the issues faced by Local Government in terms of forcing boundary changes.
This is why The Nationals proposed an alternative to amalgamation – regional subsidiaries. The
Nationals will continue to extol the virtues of this model and continue to fight against forced Local Government amalgamation.

Liberal Party of WA:
WALGA has yet to receive a response.