The cities of Cockburn and Kwinana would merge, the City of Armadale expand to include the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale and the City of Melville would gain some suburbs but lose others under proposed changes that have angered some councils.
Affected councils were yesterday counting the cost, with some warning residents could face higher rates from the loss of key industrial areas and infrastructure. Others, notably Fremantle, were happy with the proposed changes.
The Local Government Advisory Board briefed mayors and chief executives on Monday about three proposals it planned to recommend to Local Government Minister Tony Simpson. The proposals open for public comment today and may still be changed.
Board chairman Mel Congerton said the proposals reflected an "appropriate balance" between what councils and community groups wanted.
But Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett said the plan to merge with Kwinana and give the suburbs of Bibra Lake, North Lake and Leeming to Melville and Hamilton Hill to Fremantle was akin to "ripping the heart out of Cockburn". He said losing a works depot with an estimated replacement value of $30 million and losing Bibra Lake industrial area would put financial strain on a merged Cockburn-Kwinana.
Melville mayor Russell Aubrey said he was concerned the loss of Bicton and Palmyra to Fremantle would lead to Melville growing at a slower rate than its neighbours.
"We will be going back hard with our submission, with the support of our community," Mr Aubrey said.
It is understood the Cockburn-Kwinana tie-up would require a poll but the Armadale-Serpentine-Jarrahdale proposal would not, angering Serpentine-Jarrahdale president Keith Ellis.
He said Serpentine-Jarrahdale would become the "poor cousins" if a takeover went ahead.
Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said the proposed boundaries aligned strongly with what Fremantle had asked for.
Mr Simpson said the board appeared to be listening to the community, describing the Cockburn proposal as "probably 95 per cent" of what the community had wanted.