THE proposal to amalgamate the Shires of York, Cunderdin, Quairading and Tammin was knocked back last week.
While the reasons behind the decision remain unclear, the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB) confirmed last Friday that it had completed its inquiry into the proposal and its recommendation was now with the Minister for Local Government Tony Simpson.
Quairading shire chief executive officer Graeme Fardon said he was disappointed with the board's decision because the proposal had been agreed to by all councils and would have had significant benefits for the four communities.
"It would have meant a much better use of resources over the four councils," he said.
"Reducing the number of councils would reduce governance costs.
"We think there would have been significant savings achieved that could have been reallocated to improve services and assist in funding the renewal of assets in the community."
Acting Local Government Minister Albert Jacob said that despite the LGAB's recommendation not to proceed with an amalgamation, the business planning undertaken by the South East Avon Group had identified a number of opportunities to improve the efficiency and capacity of their local governments.
"This highlights the benefits of reform, beyond amalgamations," he said.
"The Shires of Cunderdin, Quairading, Tammin and York are to be commended for the leadership role they have taken to date.
"It's important they work closely with their communities to create stronger councils which provide the best possible services, delivered with maximum efficiency."
Mr Fardon said while about $1 million had been granted to the four shires for its research and business plan, any further action in support of the amalgamation would be at the cost of the shires.
"I don't believe there will be any State Government funding for a transitional group again," he said.