Vincent Amalgamation: An Open Letter to Eleni Evangel

Dear Eleni,


Since you’re “in tune” and “connected” to the issues of your local community, this letter should come as no surprise.  I implore you to “listen to” and “understand” the issues I’m about to present, because this is vitally important to the Perth electorate.  I might take a moment to point out that a lot of that wording came directly from your profile page on the WA Liberal Party website.  I might also point out that it’s a little bit of a concern that you chose to place so many of those words in inverted commas.  It really “fills me with confidence.”

I know you’re not one to be quiet in opposition of ideas that you don’t think will be a good fit for your electorate (if the Premier’s proposals for a Hay St light rail are any indication) so I’m hoping you can bring that same electorate-minded rationality to the table over the coming weeks in light of this week’s announcements.

I started writing this two days ago, with wording that appealed to you for explanations and answers.  The Premier’s announcement today that community rights to referendum over council amalgamations will be removed has forced me to change that wording.

I’m really angry and upset that the Barnett Government has demonstrated this paternalistic lack of foresight to force Mount Hawthorn, North Perth and the northern part of Leederville (I’ll get back to that.) to be managed by the City of Stirling, rather than allow it to join the City of Perth as recommended by the Robson Report.  I’m furious that Mr Barnett’s opted to keep this under his hat until after the election.

These moves will cause immense damage to these vibrant, growing areas.


Your personal background in the fledgling days of Northbridge as a vibrant, diverse community should surely understand that a council primarily concerned with being a suburban council is not established to cater for the kinds of dynamic, lively communities that inner-city hubs demand.  Your family’s background in (pretty iconic) hospitality should help drive that understanding home.

I lived in the City of Stirling before I moved to Mount Hawthorn 12 months ago.  The growth & development of my new home even in this short period of time has been incredible, and the sense of community that surrounds it has affirmed my choice to invest in the area.  I saw no such development or community spirit in the 3 years I spent in the City of Stirling.  Not to say Stirling’s bad at what they do, they just don’t do the same things that our neck of the woods here does, and given that I’ve made the conscious choice to live here, I’d rather not have that jeopardised by a council ill-equipped to cater to it.

Stirling’s proven itself to not have an interest in inner-city communities as proven by the diversity and prosperity of businesses on Beaufort St either side of Walcott.  The Barnett Government, in ignoring the recommendations of the Robson Report is condemning Leederville and Mount Hawthorn to the same fate as that Stirling end of Walcott St.  As the sister of the owner of a prominent restaurant on the lucky Perth end of Oxford St, I’m sure you can empathise.

“In tune.”  “Connected.”

“Listen.”  “Understand.”

Prove it.


Joel Birch

By | 2015-06-23T11:01:18+00:00 July 30th, 2013|Blog|1 Comment

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  1. Jason Roberts July 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    I absolutely concur. This is a travesty and I cannot abide the Premier and his department running rough shod over due process. Look what happened in Gladstone!


    Jason Roberts

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