The West

Perth only unofficial capital
Big plans: Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi. Picture: Bil Hatto/The West Australian

The City of Perth wants to be legally recognised as WA's capital to make it easier to get Federal funding, improve its working relationship with the State Government and boost the city's profile overseas.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has asked Premier Colin Barnett and the Local Government Advisory Board to consider capital city legislation that would put Perth on equal footing with Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

Without it, Ms Scaffidi said, though Perth was recognised as WA's capital "by design and public perception", its status was not legally recognised.

"With the City of Perth's status as capital city comes many responsibilities above and beyond those of other local governments," she said.

"Although there is recognition of this status in a number of ways, the legal basis of the city currently is no different from every local government in WA."

Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Darwin have had dedicated capital city legislation for many years.

"Legislation could enable better co-ordination of planning and programs between the city and many State Government departments and agencies operating within the city," Ms Scaffidi said.

"Having defined legal status would also enable the city to more easily access funding."

The city has proposed having its status legally recognised but appears to be ramping up its campaign.

Ms Scaffidi said she raised the matter with the Government as recently as last month and understood it was "being given serious consideration".

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said he was aware of the suggestion for a capital city Act similar to that in Melbourne and Brisbane but his main priority was structural reform of metropolitan local governments.

The West Australian

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