MP joins chorus

12. 798NEWS

• About 200 Stirling locals have attended a rally in Dianella to oppose premier Colin Barnett’s amalgamation plans. Photo supplied

Senior Liberal MP Michael Sutherland has joined a growing chorus of state Liberals opposed to premier Colin Barnett’s council amalgamations.

Last weekend the speaker of state parliament—a job with the status of a Cabinet minister—took to the stage at a rally in Dianella to oppose plans to shift suburbs out of Stirling.

“I know that the City of Stirling will be presenting a case to the state government for the retention of Dianella, Inglewood, Menora and Mt Lawley in Stirling,” he told the 200-strong crowd. “I support such a proposal and will write to the minister for local government to support the city’s submission.”

Following the rally (mayor David Boothman, Liberal councillor David Lagan and Labor MP Lisa Baker also spoke) a petition with more than 2800 signatures was presented to state parliament. Veteran councillor and former mayor Terry Tyzack says hundreds of council staff could lose their jobs if the amalgamations go ahead.

“Around 200 staff could be affected with the loss of libraries and other facilities,” he says. “If the recipient councils don’t want every member of staff uprooted, then who will pay their wages? When Maylands moved from Stirling to Bayswater, Bayswater council didn’t want all of our staff.”

Labor MPs Ken Travers and Janine Freeman also attended.

Meanwhile, Stirling council has released the last in its series of spoof posters protesting the mergers. In the grand finale, Cr Boothman is photoshopped as John Lennon. He has already been Barack Obama, William Wallace (Braveheart) and Luke Skywalker.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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