Premier Colin Barnett has thwarted hopes of making the East Kimberley the first West Australian region with a unique time zone, saying it would be disruptive to business and government.
Kununurra is closer to Darwin than Perth by more than 2000km and less than 50km from the Northern Territory border, where the clock winds forward by an hour and a half.
At a public forum held by the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley as part of its development of a 10-year plan for the region, Kununurra residents identified changing the time zone as a key priority.
Shire development services director Nick Kearns told The Kimberley Echo last week the authority could lobby for the change if it was what the community wanted.
He said more surveying of the public would be needed before the Shire could decide whether to pursue the change. “It’s probably not an easy thing to do, it’s really something we could raise in discussions.
Maybe it’s something we could lobby to Ministers. It would be one of those where all the ducks would have to be lined up,” he said.
But the proposal has already been shot down by the Premier, who said the State Government would not support the change.
“It would place the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley in a different time zone to the rest of the State, thereby disrupting business and government engagement with the rest of the State,” Mr Barnett said.
“This could include disruption of government services to the area due to time-zone confusion.”
All of Western Australia is currently in the same time zone.