This is the personal blog of Ian Ker, who was Councillor for the South Ward of the Town of Vincent from 1995 to 2009. I have been a resident of this area since 1985. This blog was originally conceived as a way of letting residents of Vincent know what I have been doing and sharing thoughts on important issues. I can now use it to sound off about things that concern me.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Emperor Barnett turns Dictator - and lapdog Simpson rolls over

Those who have been in Outer Mongolia for the past few days might not be aware that the WA Government has announced its intention to force amalgamations of and some other boundary changes to metropolitan local governments. If you want a comprehensive catch-up, go to

Of course, the Premier denies that these are 'forced amalgamations', but in the same breath said that: "…there will be no room for negotiation, beyond some minor tweaking of the proposed borders". (

Incidentally, I think he means 'boundaries' - borders are generally between sovereign entities. Or is he planning to grant self-government to these new larger local governments? 

And as for the Minister for Local Government - Sir Humphrey (Appleby) of ‘Yes, Minister’ fame would be immensely proud of a Minister who could, with a straight face, say he was going to change “the poll provisions in the Local Government Act to make them more democratic so more of the population would have a say on any proposed amalgamations”  by removing the only provision that actually allows the people affected to have a say in the process.

This is precisely what Local Government Minister, Tony Simpson, has done!

On 4th June, 2013, he "flagged changes to the poll provisions in the Local Government Act to make them more democratic so that more of the population would have a say on any proposed amalgamations" (Metropolitan Local Government Reform Update, Issue 2 -

On 30th July, 2013, the Minister was party to an announcement by the Premier that: "The government will also override the existing 'Dadour Bill', which currently gives the public the power to veto any council mergers or boundary changes via a referendum." (

Oh well - probably tilting at windmills again - but there are a lot of people who don't like what is being foisted on them. If enough of us get together, especially those who live in marginal electorates, perhaps we can actually change something. 

Oh! I forgot. Didn't Colin Barnett say something about 2013 being his last election - so he doesn't really give a toss about the next election - but I would have thought his party colleagues might.

Anyway, here's today's tilt - published on the letters page of the West Australian. [Click on image to enlarge.]