The Melbourne Hearldsun has reported on Cr Clarke's option.
October 23, 2006 12:00am
PLANS for a new super-council stretching from Chadstone to Maribyrnong will go to Melbourne City Council this week.
The City of Greater Melbourne would house more than 350,000 residents and collect about $500 million a year in rates.
Melbourne councillor Peter Clarke, who is leading the amalgamation push, yesterday said better public transport was a major reason to unite Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Port Phillip, Stonnington and Yarra councils.
"In a co-ordinated way (we could) properly deal with the inner metropolitan transport and road network," Cr Clarke said.
"The main one has been public transport. When an entity has got larger, it's been able to organise public transport in a far more ordered and organised way.
"It's even the simple things like parking. You've got four different machines along St Kilda Rd (and) different rates."
Cr Clarke said Newcastle and Wollongong already had councils about the same size as that proposed for Melbourne.
He said an amalgamation would also lead to better aged care, child care and libraries.
"There is, understandably, a concern that you could possibly lose a more localised representation," Cr Clarke said.
But he pointed out that 41 councillors were on the five councils -- half the number of Victorian MPs.
Other councils could join the amalgamation push if they wanted to, Cr Clarke said.
Councillors in a Greater Melbourne council should be paid more to allow them to be more available to ratepayers, he said.
"I think you could be looking at models like Queensland where councillors become better rewarded and as a consequence become available more often during the day," Cr Clarke said.
Brisbane councillors worked full-time as councillors, he said.
Cr Clarke's motion will go before the City of Melbourne tomorrow.
If passed, the City of Melbourne will write to the heads of the other councils seeking formal support.
Residents would decide on the merger in a referendum held during the 2008 council elections.
But the amalgamations would need State Parliament approval.