Paul Toole must come clean on amalgamations pledge

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Shadow Minister for Local Government Peter Primrose is demanding Minister Toole come clean on his plans for council amalgamations and reveal whether he stands by his claim of “no forced amalgamations.”

Upon being sworn in as Minister for Local Government on 23 April 2014, Mr Toole said:

The government has stated there will be no forced amalgamations and I aim to honour that, but there are also some councils who have already indicated they want to take up voluntary amalgamations with support from the state government to work through the process.” Western Advocate, 23/4/14

“As the ‘Fit for the Future’ deadline approaches, councils are moving to amalgamate because they feel they have no choice – but the Minister has been notably quiet,” said Mr Primrose.

“It’s time for Mr Toole to answer one simple question: does he stand by his pledge of no forced amalgamations?

“Or is the Minister now backing away from his commitment?

“If he can’t answer the question, perhaps Mr Toole can ask his colleague Andrew Constance who famously said the Government will “have to pull out the stick” if councils don’t take the carrot.  

“Communities across the state are wondering what happens to councils deemed ‘unfit for the future’ – Mr Toole should clarify whether his Government will be getting the stick out.”

Mr Primrose today raised Mr Toole’s pledge at a Save Our Councils rally against forced amalgamations. At the rally, Mr Primrose asked: “Was he lying then, or is he lying now?”