Samson, in the tent or not?

Submitted by sam on Sat, 31/08/2013 - 07:17

Below is a letter submitted to the Fremantle Herald (but not published) taking up the issue of Samson's place in local government reform:

Kaye Land (Herald Letters, August 24) is correct that the City of Fremantle's submission to the local government review process proposed to transfer Samson and parts of O'Connor to Melville by creating a greater Fremantle with Stock Rd as its eastern boundary.

Councillor Bill Massie and I advocated retaining Samson, with Bill suggesting that the City make a more ambitious proposal for a greater Fremantle extending all the way to North Lake Rd. However the majority of council chose to stick with the Stock Rd option.

Ironically the state government's disregarding of the City of Fremantle proposal in favour of a holus bolus merger with Melville gives us another opportunity to consider the creation of a greater Fremantle that includes Samson and more.

While I'm convinced Samson does belong with Fremantle, what matters most is what Samson people themselves want.

In the community survey conducted earlier this year 42% of Samson residents voted in favour of Options A and B which involved a straight out merger of Fremantle and Melville, while 42% voted for Options D and E which would see Samson stay with Fremantle.

In the middle 17% voted for Option C which corresponds to the proposal the City made to the local government review process.

Notionally this means 59% of Samson residents voted for an option that would see them transferred to Melville. However while the map that accompanied the survey shows Samson being transferred to Melville under Option C, the text explaining it failed to mention this crucial bit of information.

How many Samson residents ticked Option C in support of a greater Fremantle on the assumption that they were going to be included? Conversely it seems unlikely that the Samson residents who want to be absorbed by Melville would have expressed it by choosing C as as you'd think they would be fairly indifferent to it.

Does this mean the majority of Samson residents in fact want to remain with Fremantle? I suspect so, but unfortunately the lack of clarity in the survey question means no one can answer this decisively. To do this we would need to do a special re-run of the survey in Samson.

Like the majority of residents in every suburb, the overwhelming majority of Samson folk (63%) were against change being arbitrarily imposed by the state government. So if Samson people want to remain to remain with Fremantle, start shouting it from the rooftops.

Sam Wainwright
Councillor, Hilton Ward