Traders lament loss of Vincent
‘I think we might get lost in a bigger council’
Businesses that are to shift from Vincent to Stirling council are worried their concerns will go unheeded by the bigger, more corporate council.
Dean Schulze runs the Beaufort Street 24-hour chemist.
“I’m greatly concerned,” he says. “I was around when they split the City of Perth up and formed the smaller councils.
“That’s been a great boon for Vincent because Vincent had a great affinity for the area and understood the area.
“It’s like the old saying: Small is beautiful. I think because they were smaller they were able to relate better to the unique character of the area.”
Alex Trakilovic runs Mt Lawley’s Caffissimo: “I’m just afraid it’s going to get bigger, and that things will not be handled in a timely manner,” he says.
“Vincent, they’re really professional. They really do everything in a short period of time.
“I’m afraid it’s going to get really big and there’s going to be less person-to-person contact.”
“I think we might get lost in a bigger council,” chemist Bruce Affleck agrees.
Last week Beaufort Street Network chair John Carey, also a Vincent city councillor, had initially said the top half of Mount Lawley going to Stirling was the “worst-case scenario” for the trading hubs.
He’s had to revise that, as an “even worse” plan has emerged: Mount Lawley split between three councils, with most marching off to Bayswater.
“Here we have a town centre that people love being divided into three councils.
“How does that accord with the premier’s claim of cutting bureaucracy?”
Angry locals pack public gallery
‘tip of the iceberg’
Furious locals packed Vincent’s public gallery Tuesday night, opposing the premier’s plan to divide their council between bigger Perth and Stirling councils.
It was standing room only for the impromptu crisis meeting, held just hours after WA local government minister Tony Simpson announced everything north of Vincent Street would go to Stirling. Most of Mt Lawley is off to Bayswater, the rest to Perth.
Vincent will cease to exist, just 19 years after it was created.
The council is resigned to ceasing to be, but wants to be fully integrated into the bigger capital.
It unanimously passed a motion to start a social media campaign with petitions, town hall meetings and advertising to push for changes.
A procession of passionate locals got to their feet to tell councillors they didn’t want to live in suburban Stirling, which they said had little understanding of inner-city issues.
Peter Fitzgerald said, “it strikes me that this is something that’s been arrived at by a group of people who don’t really understand Vincent as a community and hasn’t necessarily taken the time to come out and see us and understand who we are and what’s important to us.
“I’m not opposed to an amalgamation but I do think we should amalgamate as one, as a single community with the city of Perth.”
Another local said, “Vincent looks after us well”. She used to live in Stirling but says “we were ignored” by the bigger council.
“Stirling are so distant, they’re almost like a stranger.”
Cr Dudley Maier said those at the meeting were “just the tip of the iceberg” and he suspected sentiment opposing the split was widespread.