The State Government has confirmed plans to force the merger of the City of Belmont and Shire of Kalamunda. This is a slap in the face to residents who have been denied the right to a vote on their community’s future.

“The State Government has been tricky in using the legislation to avoid giving the residents of affected Councils the right to a vote or referendum,” said Cassie Rowe, President of the Belmont Community Group.

“Moves from the State Government to deny a vote to affected people amounts to nothing short of a complete disregard for the basic democratic right of residents to a say on the fate of their community.”

Thousands of submissions from Belmont residents were sent to the Local Government Advisory Board opposing any merger with Kalamunda, yet these have been ignored.

“Today’s result is very disappointing for the people of Belmont who have voiced their strong objection to this merger for well over a year,” said Cassie Rowe.

“Our members have been out in the Belmont community speaking with concerned residents for months and as recently as the previous weekend, were collecting signatures against the merger,” said Cassie Rowe. “In that time our community has never wavered in its objection.”

“In the 21st century people are looking for ways to be more active participants at all levels of government and this is most certainly a backwards step,” said Cassie Rowe.

“Our City has a proud history going back more than 100 years and in the space of a couple of years, the Premier has tossed that history aside and forced unwanted change on our community,” said Cassie Rowe. “The State Government should feel deep shame about this anti-democratic process.”