Media Release: Good News for NSW Councils?
1 February 2017
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) has welcomed reports about the Berejiklian/Barilaro Government ceasing forced council amalgamations – and restoring local democracy by giving the residents of already merged councils a vote on whether to de-amalgamate.
The reports said the Government was preparing to announced that councils for which forced mergers were still pending would be allowed to stand alone, while ratepayers of already merged councils would be given an opportunity to vote on whether they wanted to de-amalgamate.
LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said the reports, if confirmed by Cabinet, would be very welcome news for the local government sector and local communities.
“LGNSW has spent a lot of today in meetings with Deputy Premier John Barilaro and the newly installed Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton,” Clr Rhoades said.
“It would be inappropriate to reveal the content of those discussions, but I can certainly say they were both constructive and productive.
“I have said all along that I was confident the Berejiklian/Bailaro Government and the new Local Government Minister would listen to the people, and these reports appear to confirm that confidence.”
Clr Rhoades said the next important thing was the timing of the plebiscites for already merged councils.
“I would urge the Government to undertake these plebiscites this coming September when the residents and ratepayers of amalgamated councils go to the polls in local government elections,” Clr Rhoades said, "and indeed to send all councils who missed out on elections last year to the polls at the same time."
“It saves ratepayers money and it ensures that local democracy will truly be returned as quickly as possible.”
LGNSW President, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM: 0408 256 405
Media Toni Allan: 0412 774 441