Seven northern Sydney councils met to consider a collective response to the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future local government reform agenda which includes the merger of councils.
The majority of those attending confirmed their opposition to any forced amalgamations of councils.
Mayor of Hunters Hill and President of the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC), Councillor Richard Quinn, confirmed the position following a forum attended by more than 30 Local Government Councillors and General Managers from across northern Sydney held on Thursday 5th February.
“Mayors and Councillors are continually seeking improvement for our organisations, and we recognise that we must continue to evolve as we endeavour to meet the needs of our local residents. However, there is no empirical evidence that mergers, as proposed by the NSW government, will provide any benefits to the local communities that we serve.”
This echoes a similar position taken by five inner-west Councils last week.
Councillors considered a number of options for taking a shared approach in their responses to Government’s Fit for the Future agenda, which are due for submission by 30 June.
“There was overwhelming support from the forum for Councils to jointly commission an independent analysis of the Government’s merger model, with the majority accepting that a more detailed strategic and economic appraisal is needed”.
“We need further information to consult with our communities on where their best interests lie and how our current strategic capacity stacks up against the Government’s requirements”.
“Councils take very seriously their role of promoting local community participation and social engagement, and understand the importance of local identity and culture in helping to build and enhance a harmonious global city”, Councillor Quinn said.