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No forced council mergers in regional WA

No forced council mergers in regional WA
Nationals Leader Brendon Grylls reveals he struck a deal with Premier Colin Barnett. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Nationals Leader Brendon Grylls has revealed he struck a deal with Premier Colin Barnett to support changes to metropolitan council boundaries provided no forced mergers took place in regional WA.

The Regional Development Minister this morning said the National Party did not support forced council mergers, but believed Mr Barnett had a mandate to redraw metropolitan boundaries.

“He had the western suburbs mayors run against him on this platform in the election,” Mr Grylls said.

“He has a strong argument that he has a mandate for change in the metro area.

“That, being said, the Nationals don’t support it and I think you’ll see a different set of arrangements for the country areas.”

Asked if it was hypocritical to usher in reforms in the metropolitan area which he was unwilling to inflict on regional constituents, Mr Grylls said the “compromise” was a result of the two governing parties having conflicting positions.

“On trading hours you (the media) said we should have a different position for the country, to the metro area,” he said.

“This time we have actually done that. The Government will have a different position on metro local government and country local government.”

He said he had briefed Nationals MPs on the matter and if legislation was required to affect metropolitan boundary changes, he expected them to support it.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson revealed the Town of Victoria Park would be compensated financially for the loss of the Crown entertainment complex to the City of Perth, a change announced yesterday.

The full suite of boundary changes is to be revealed by the Government tomorrow.

“I think Vic Park will be happy with the announcement tomorrow,” Mr Simpson said.

“There will be an increase in rooftops and some more industrial land to compensate them for the loss of funds.”