Split, stay or swallow: Vincent locals to vote

Vincent locals will be asked whether they want their city to be left alone, to amalgamate with Perth or to be split amongst Perth and Stirling.

The questions will be distributed with council election ballots. The plebiscite was unanimously endorsed by councillors Tuesday, earning the council the congratulations of former deputy mayor Ian Ker, who’s been resisting the council’s assumption most residents are happy to see the end of Vincent if it means joining Perth rather than being split with Stirling.

While some councillors say they’d like to see Vincent left alone, all say that simply isn’t an option under premier Colin Barnett. Mayor Alannah MacTiernan—a former Perth city councillor—supports amalgamation wholly into Perth.

“I’ve got a fairly high degree of confidence that the position we’re taking has broad support in the community,” she says.

She believes the plebiscite will show most locals are happy with joining the capital.

“It’s important to us in mounting our argument that we demonstrate that clarity.”

Cr Dudley Maier noted the plebiscite had limitations, such as not reaching people not on the electoral roll.

“Like Naomi Clark,” Ms MacTiernan quipped, referring to a non-existent letter writer who’d got stuck into Cr John Carey.

Elected last weekend as the federal Labor MP for Perth, she describes the management of the amalgamation process as a “dog’s breakfast”: “You could not have conceived a worse way of doing local government reform,” she told the council.

by DAVID BELL

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