Canning’s residents ASK for local govt reform

Media Release 1 August 2013

6PR interviews CanningAccountability’s Diana Ryan 02/08/13
“We’ll watch [what happens] very closely” – Paul Murray

Piece, The West Australian, 12/8/13

“Canning’s residents forgotten in Councils’ carve up” – extract

As the City of Canning prepares to merge with the City of Gosnells, a delegation will visit the Minister for Local Government to request an Advisory Panel of Community Members is appointed to the City of Canning.

It is against the Commissioner for Canning, Linton Reynolds, wishes.

Two days ago the Canning community learned our City had lost a lot of land to other Councils, and that we are to merge with Gosnells.

Possibly this was always going to be the case, as the City of Canning’s new Chief Executive Officer has only been appointed for three years, not the usual five.

However, changing Council boundaries is only one of 30 recommendations made to reform the way local government delivers services.

The other recommendations to be determined will also impact on social, environment and financial outcomes for the community.

Unfortunately, Canning’s 90,000 residents remain in democratic limbo – the only community in Perth with no elected representatives to oversee the restructure of our local governance.

This situation may not change for some time.  There is no guarantee the Inquiry in to Canning will not be extended beyond 31 March 2014.

In the early 1990s, when the City of Canning’s Council was suspended, then Commissioner Charlie Gregorini advertised for members of the community, representing different areas and interests, to provide ongoing advice about decisions made on behalf of residents and ratepayers, in the absence of elected representatives.

In January 2013, when current Commissioner Linton Reynolds was asked if a new Advisory Panel would be appointed, he replied “It is not an option”.

A delegation of residents, ratepayer associations and over 40 businesses in the Canning area believe it is reasonable and fair that once again an Advisory Panel of Community Members is appointed.

The Panel would be a valuable addition to online community surveys and once-off community consultations.  It would provide a constant source of input and reflection to the Commissioner from the community, as he gives due consideration to decisions affecting all our futures.

If we are going to go through a process of reform, then let us actually be a part of it!

The Premier could use a Quick Win here, and 90,000 people could use being told they matter too.

For more information please contact Diana Ryan, Convenor of CanningAccountability on 0403 556 846.

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