Any attempt by the State Government to ignore community objection to forced council amalgamations through the use of legislation, will be met with outrage.

The Belmont Community Group (BCG) has campaigned strongly in opposition to the forced amalgamation of the Belmont and Kalamunda councils for many months. More than a thousand signatures have been collected on petitions and hundreds of people have joined the BCG to participate in the ‘Keep Belmont in Belmont’ anti-amalgamation campaign.

BCG President, Cassie Rowe, has been at the forefront of the campaign, publically calling for a vote on the proposed merger of Belmont and Kalamunda. In December 2013, after increasing commuting pressure, the Belmont Council voted unanimously to hold a poll on amalgamation in 2014. “The decision reflects the will of our community to be involved in the biggest issue affecting the Council in its history” said Cassie Rowe.

“The State Government is proposing to use a technicality in the legislation to ignore mounting community pressure on to give up on forced amalgamations” said Cassie Rowe.

“The Belmont Council has now resolved to give residents a say through a vote and I would urge all residents and ratepayers to participate.”

“It is important that we send a strong message to the State Government opposing their attack on our community identity”.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson yesterday admitted that the amalgamations will come at a heavy cost to WA taxpayers. “The Government plans to embark on this costly reform despite it having no proven cost benefit” said Cassie Rowe.

“The forced amalgamation project is based on a broken election promise.”

MEDIA CONTACT: CASSIE ROWE (BCG PRESIDENT) 0418 200 149

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