Local Government Reform

In February 2015 the planned Perth metropolitan local government reform process was abandoned by the State Government.  This was followed in March 2015, when the Governor signed the authority to revoke the Governor's Orders from December 2014 that would have seen the number of local authorities in the Perth metropolitan region reduced from 30 to 16.

Below is a overview of the Perth metropolitan local government reform process from when first discussed in February 2009 to when the Governor's Orders were revoked in March 2015.

2015        March

On 10 March 2015, the Governor signed the authority to revoke the orders.  Notice was published in the Government Gazette on Friday, 13 March 2015.

2015        February

Premier Colin Barnett announces planned boundary changes to Perth metropolitan local governments would be abandoned following unsuccessful polls in several local governments who, under the Dadour provisions of the Local Government Act, were eligible to vote on the proposed changes.  This affected local governments who would have merged through amalgamation, not those who were to be merged through a boundary change.  The Town of Cambridge and City of Subiaco did not participate in the polls as their merger was a boundary change.

2014        December

Local Implementation Committee with members from the Town of Cambridge and City of Subiaco established.

2014        December

Governor's Orders released.  Town of Cambridge boundaries to be extended to take in the City of Subiaco plus parts of the cities of Nedlands and Stirling.

As the continuing council,  Cambridge elected members will remain until the end of their current term, either October 2015 or October 2017.

2014        October

Local Government Reform Announcement made on Wednesday, 22 October 2014. 

Key points of decision:

  • Cambridge combines with Subiaco and takes the name City of Subiaco, with some boundary adjustments 
  • Includes Hackett Estate (Floreat) and parts of Mount Claremont and Shenton Park from City of Nedlands
  • Churchlands, Herdsman, Wembley (part), Wembley Downs (part) transferred from the City of Stirling
  • Crawley transferred to City of Riversea
  • Focus on secondary activity centre of Subiaco
  • Logical, clear boundaries – Hale Road, Shenton Park public lands buffer
  • Resolves Hackett Estate (Floreat) boundary anomaly
  • Estimated population of 58,000 in 2015 and projected to reach 63,000 in 2026. Small population but strong financial sustainability
  • Economies of scale could be realised through consolidation of administrative costs and elimination of duplication in systems and reports. Potential savings of more than $3.6 million in elected members' allowances over 10 years
  • City of Subiaco complements the proposed City of Riversea in the western suburbs, but with a greater inner city focus

2014        September

Minister considers Local Government Advisory Board recommendations.

2014        September

Local Government Advisory Board inquiry process finishes.

2014        March

The Local Government Advisory Board period for public comment closes on 13 March 2014.

During the public comment phase the Town of Cambridge contacts all its ratepayers requesting they complete a postcard or online petition supporting the Town's proposal to merge with the City of Subiaco; and to reject the State's G7 proposal.  As a result nearly 2,400 residents voiced their support for the Town's proposal. 

2014        February

The Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB) calls for public comment on all proposals it has received in response to the State Government's proposed changes to local government boundaries. .

2013        October

The Town of Cambridge lodges a reform submission to the Local Government Advisory Board - the Cambridge / Subiaco Boundary Proposal.

2013        October

Cambridge Council, at a special meeting held on 1 October 2013, agreed that:

(i) the Council's decision made on 13 August 2013 to reject the State Government's merger proposal for the seven western suburbs councils to be combined into one local government be reaffirmed;

(ii) the Town of Cambridge being an affected local government within the meaning of Schedule 2.1 of the Local Government Act 1995 (LGA), resolves to submit a proposal to the Local Government Advisory Board, pursuant to clause 2(1) of Schedule 2.1 of the LGA, that orders be made by the Governor under Section 2.1 of the LGA which would:

(a) abolish the district of the City of Subiaco;

(b) vary the boundary of the district of the Town of Cambridge so as to include within it the area of the former district of the City of Subiaco with the exception of the suburbs of Nedlands and Crawley which are to be incorporated in the City of Nedlands or any successor of that local government;

(c) vary the boundary of the district of the Town of Cambridge as so constituted, so as to include within it the areas of the district of the City of Nedlands which includes parts of the suburbs of Floreat, Shenton Park, Mt Claremont and Swanbourne; and

(d) further vary the boundary between the district of the Town of Cambridge, as so constituted, so as to include within it the areas of the district of the City of Stirling which include the suburbs of Wembley Downs, Churchlands, Herdsman and parts of Woodlands and Wembley;

in accordance with the attached plan illustrating the proposed changes.

(iii) the district of Town of Cambridge, as so constituted outlined in (ii) above, have the corporate name 'City of Subiaco' under Section 2.5 of the Local Government Act. 

Read the full Council Minutes here.

2013        August

Following the State Government's July 2013 announcement that it proposes to merge the seven western suburbs councils (Cambridge, Subiaco, Claremont, Mosman Park, Cottesloe, Peppermint Grove and Nedlands) into one council, Cambridge Council convened a special meeting of Council on 13 August where it decided:

(i)    the State Government's merger proposal for the seven western suburbs councils be combined into one local government be rejected; 

(ii)   the City of Subiaco be invited to discuss the possibility of creating a single council incorporating

        (a)  City of Subiaco;
        (b)  Town of Cambridge; and
        (c)   that part of the City of Stirling as proposed in the State Government's merger proposal,

        as part of a two council solution in the western suburbs.

Read the full Council Minutes here.

2013     July

State Government announce their proposal to reduce the number of Perth metropolitan council from 30 to 14, with new councils to begin operations from 1 July 2015.

Under the State's proposal the Town of Cambridge would be merged with the six western suburbs councils of Claremont, Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Nedlands, Peppermint Grove and Subiaco. Other areas would also be added to make up this new mega council, including, to the north, the suburbs of Wembley Downs and Churchlands and part of Woodlands and, to the south, the residential part of North Fremantle.

Local governments have until 4 October 2013 to respond to the State's proposal, by lodging with the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB) 'boundary merger proposals consistent with the Government's plan.'

 2013     July

The Town of Cambridge lodges a Boundary Change Proposal to the Local Government Advisory Board.

2012     December

The Town of Cambridge Council will consider at its 18 December meeting report CR12.198 Metropolitan Local Government Review - Final Report.

pdf.png  CR12.198 - Metropolitan Local Government Review - Final Report

pdf.png  CR12.198 - Attachment 1 - Alternative Plan of the proposed Council boundaries in the Western Suburbs

pdf.png  CR12.198 - Attachment 2 - Draft response to the recommendations of the MLGR

A full page advertisement publicising the boundaries as recommended by the Town of Cambridge appeared in 15 December 2012 edition of the Post Newspaper.

Select the image below for a larger view.


2012     October

State Government release the Independent Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel final report for public comment.

pdf.png  Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel - Final Report (3MB)

pdf.png  Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel - Executive Summary - Final Report (2MB)

2012     July

Independent Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel present the final report to Local Government Minister John Castrilli.

2012     April

Independent Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel release Draft Findings Report.

pdf.png  Draft Findings Report

The Town was disappointed with the Draft Findings which appeared to have ignored input from the Town.

2011     December

The Town provides a submission to the Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel's Issues Paper.

pdf.png  Metropolitan Local Government Review: Response to Issues Paper

The Town's submission is based on:

  1. A building block approach to the implementation of the long term structure of local government in Perth with Councils growing from a minimum of 30,000 population to 50,000 in the longer term.
  2. Central Business District Authority to manage and fund the major initiatives in the central business district (CBD).
  3. No major shift in responsibilities between state and local government except waste disposal.
  4. Community of interest, not shopping centres, should determine the form of local government.
  5. Governance and decision making is not necessarily any more capable in larger councils.
  6. Boundary expansion proposal for the Town of Cambridge boundary to achieve a population of 40,000 immediately and in our region three councils be created with one council centre at Subiaco, another at Claremont and the third at Cambridge.

2011     October

The Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel releases for comment an Issues Paper upon which local governments are invited to make submissions.

2011     June

Local Government Minister John Castrilli appoints the independent Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel (led by Professor Alan Robson) to undertake a review of Perth metropolitan local government and broader governance structures and to examine the social, economic and environmental challenges facing metropolitan Perth.

2009    September

Town of Cambridge Council approves its Local Government Reform Submission and delivers it to the Minister for Local Government.

pdf.png   Local Government Reform Submission 2009 (7MB)

Read a summary of Town's Local Government Reform Submission 2009 below:

The Town doesn't support an amalgamation of Cambridge with any of neighbouring councils; Cambridge is financially sustainable and doesn't need to amalgamate to achieve this. Cambridge works effectively at its current size, however, as the Minister has asked councils to consider their appropriate size Council decided to propose expanding its boundaries to include:

  • Wembley Downs, Churchlands, part of Woodlands, Herdsman Lake and that part of Wembley now not in the Town from the City of Stirling;
  • City West 'beak' area in West Perth separated by the freeway and Perth to Fremantle railway line from the City of Perth; and
  • Hackett estate in Floreat, all of AK Reserve and UWA Sports Park, the commercial area down to Lemnos Street including the Town's depot, and part of the Swanbourne army reserve and beach from the City of Nedlands.

The Town is also proposing to transfer the following areas to neighbouring councils:

  • part of Daglish south of Hay Street and Jolimont south of Hay Street and east of Jersey Street (49 properties) to the City of Subiaco; and
  • part of Mt Claremont south of Rochdale Road (100 properties) to the City of Nedlands.

If the proposal is successful the Town's operations are estimated to increase as follows:

  • population by 50 per cent (12,500) to 38,000 people;
  • rateable properties by 58 per cent (6,100) to 16,500 properties;
  • rates revenue by 52 per cent ($8.5 million) to $25 million;
  • total revenue by 35 per cent ($10.5 million) to $40.5 million; and
  • total expenses by 27 per cent ($8.2 million) to $39 million.

2009    April

Town of Cambridge lodges a Local Government Reform Checklist to the Minister for Local Government. 

pdf.png    Town of  Cambridge Local Government Reform Checklist

From the checklist, Cambridge received the highest possible rating (Category One).

Category One provides "evidence indicates there are existing organisational financial capacity to meet current and future community needs 1..".

This means the Town's operational practices and financial position make it a viable council. 

2009    February

Structural Reform Guidelines are issued by the Department of Local Government Reform Steering Committee providing a timeframe for each council to lodge a Reform Submission to the Minister.  This includes completion of a Reform Checklist by 30 April 2009, followed by completion of the Reform Submission to the Minister for Local Government by 30 September 2009.

pdf.png   Structural Reform Guidelines 2009

2009    February

Local Government Minister John Castrilli announced strategies for local government reform inviting the 139 councils within Western Australian to embrace the opportunity to voluntarily amalgamate.

Read Local Government Minister John Catrilli announcement here.


Last Updated: 10/04/2015