Failed Local Government amalgamations costs in excess of $40 million

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25 Mar 2015 - The failed process of the Barnett Government to attempt to force local government amalgamations has cost the community more than $40m.

The Barnett Government has spent more than $20m on the failed process and local councils have reporting spending another $20 million.  

The Barnett Government has ruled out paying compensation to local Councils leaving ratepayers to pick up the costs.

THE Barnett Government's botched plan to slash the number of councils in Perth has cost ratepayers almost $20 million.

The bill includes consultancy, legal, and publicity expenses, plus the cost of tens of thousands of hours in council staff time.

Most councils are now considering submitting a combined multimillion-dollar compensation claim to the State Government.

The WA Local Government Association has offered to facilitate the joint bid to recoup "reasonable" costs. Sunday Times 15/2/15

In response to a question by Mark McGowan in Parliament on the 17 February 2015, the Premier Colin Barnett stated that there would be no compensation. 

There is no case for any so-called compensation from the state government, and there will be none.  The $15 million in grants that were made available at last year's budget and the $45 million in low-interest loans has been returned to Treasury; it is no longer available.  Hansard 17/2/15

The process of forced amalgamation has now being abandoned by the Barnett Government after failed ballots and the withdrawal of support by WALGA.

The WA Local Government Association yesterday added its voice to those calling for the Government to abandon its reform plans.

 WALGA president Troy Pickard said weekend polls that led to three planned amalgamations collapsing meant the reform process had "unravelled to such an extent" it could no longer support it. "We are calling on the State Government to abandon this process and reverse the Governor's orders," he said. West Australian 10/2/15

The Government has since confirmed that the process has been abandoned. The Governors Orders forcing boundary changes on a raft of councils from 1 July 2015 have been rescinded.  

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