Perth’s secret poll

Stories by DAVID BELL:

VINCENT mayor John Carey is furious Perth city council has secretly polled his ratepayers.

Perth-appointed pollsters have been phoning Vincent residents asking questions about amalgamations, including whether they want their small council’s suburbs to be kept together, and how they’d feel about being in Perth.

Mr Carey says he recently met with Perth lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi and PCC CEO Gary Stevenson who told him they wanted “a positive, constructive relationship”.

The next thing he knows, Perth is doing cross-border patrols.

The PCC for its part told Mr Carey it had kept mum in case Vincent tried to use the polling to gain publicity and skew the result. “I think it’s extremely disappointing,” Mr Carey says. “It’s a desperate measure. They are now desperately seeking out any tactic they can to stop Vincent going into Perth.”

Vincent wants to be taken lock, stock and barrel into Perth instead of being split down the middle.

Perth council only wants Vincent’s business areas, hoping the northern half will go into Stirling.

“They don’t want 21,000 voters coming into a new electoral system that, quite frankly, is going to shake things up in a good way because they’re going to have to be accountable to an active residential base,” Mr Carey says.

Perth CEO Gary Stevenson confirmed he’d authorised the polling which also covered parts of Crawley and Nedlands. He says his council is “entitled to reach out to adjacent communities to inform itself and be better prepared to respond to the local government advisory board’s enquiry in early 2014”.

“The survey was done discreetly to give it the greatest chance of being unaffected by any media or other influence.

“I did not tell City of Vincent about the survey initially because it has been very actively engaging its community for months on an uncompromising ‘One in-All in’ proposition and I feared that the survey would become a focus of media attention and commentary that might unduly influence the survey results.”

Mayor thanked for non-existent support

JOHN CAREY says he was surprised to receive a letter from Perth council CEO Gary Stevenson thanking him for a recent meeting and saying “it was important for us to hear your views and support for the City of Perth’s position is appreciated”.

That baffled Mr Carey, who doesn’t support Perth’s position to take only a small amount of Vincent instead of the whole thing.

Mr Stevenson’s letter also suggested Mr Carey write to the premier and local MPs to make his views known. We asked the PCC if the letter was a balls-up, but they couldn’t respond before deadline as the CEO is on holiday.

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