Capel out of regional partnership

Callum HunterSouth Western Times

The Capel Shire Council has pulled out of the Bunbury Geographe Economic Alliance.

Shire chief executive officer Ian McCabe submitted a letter to the alliance late last week, outlining the council’s resignation after it voted in favour of the motion at the last council meeting, a move that would save the council $15,000 a year.

“Last November the council asked me to review all of our memberships and subscriptions and deliver a report to them,” he said.

“As soon as you give notice, it is in effect.”

The alliance is a partnership between the local governments of the Bunbury Wellington sub-region, industry leaders and South West Development Commission to promote economic growth and development.

Until this week, each one of the six local government areas were represented on the board by their respective shire presidents, although the number of shire presidents is set to be cut to just three as the alliance becomes more business oriented.

“It leaves six of us local governments putting half the money forward, but three of us don’t have a seat around the table,” Capel shire president Murray Scott said.

“I don’t have a problem with what they’re trying to do, but I think if we’re putting half the money forward we probably should be the ones that have a seat at the table.”

Cr Scott said many of his ratepayers approved of the decision after questions were raised regarding the value for money of the membership.

Alliance chief executive officer Chris McNamara said he was saddened by the council’s departure, but the alliance respected its members must make their own individual decisions.

“Capel will continue to be a beneficiary of BGEA’s work and we hope to see them re-join as a member in the future,” he said.

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