The West

Councils want meger funds now
Troy Pickard. Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

WA councils want the State Government to make its full $60 million three year funding package available in the coming financial year.

They also plan to raise awareness of the possible consequences of a funding shortfall, which they have warned could see rates rise and services cut.

Councils concerned about a lack of funding for local government reform met in Perth this afternoon.

They agreed to write to Local Government Minister Tony Simpson to request the full $60 million package, which comprises grants and loans over three years, be made available in 2014-15. They will also work with the WA Local Government Association on an awareness campaign.

WALGA boss Troy Pickard said "all options", including walking away from the process, were on the table for councils and would be considered once they received a formal response from Government.

Earlier today Premier Colin Barnett said there was no chance of any negotiation around the $60 million figure in the near future.

“We have allocated $15 million in grants for local governments plus $45 million in low-interest loans,” he said.

“I think it will come down to the ones that get their act together first will get the funding.”

Mr Barnett said if local governments walked away from the reform process, as some have threatened “then the process will go on without them”.

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