Mosman residents have their say at merger meeting

24 March 2016

About 200 residents and ratepayers attended last night’s public inquiry into the NSW Government’s latest merger proposal for Mosman, which includes North Sydney and Willoughby.

After a presentation by Mosman Mayor Peter Abelson, many residents, as well as residents from North Sydney and Willoughby, shared their views about the proposed merger with the gathering and the State Government-appointed Delegate, Ian Reynolds.

Cr Abelson told the meeting that the community’s strong opposition to the proposed merger, which would enlarge the Mosman Council area sixfold from 30,000 to more than 175,000 people, was based on the feared loss of democracy and community, a reduction in services and the likelihood of increased costs and rates.

“There’s simply no empirical evidence that larger councils produce cost savings,” Cr Abelson, a noted economist, said. “What the government does not tell us is that local council tax per capita is nearly 40% higher in Queensland and Victoria than in NSW.”

Cr Abelson described the likely replacement of seven local councillors with extensive local knowledge and availability with a mooted two out of 12 councillors in a larger entity as “significantly disempowering” the local community.

“In the eyes of most Mosman residents, a larger council does not reduce the amount of government we experience. Instead by disempowering citizens, it increases the sense of being governed.”

To give residents a further opportunity to hear about the proposed merger and to make the most of the current consultation process, Mosman Council will host a public meeting at Mosman RS Club on Wednesday, 30 March at 7.00pm.

After community consultation on the current merger proposal closes at 5pm on Friday 8 April, the Delegate will prepare a report for the Minister for Local Government and the Local Government Boundaries Commission.

Mosman residents and ratepayers unable to attend the public meeting can find out more or make an online submission by visiting yourvoicemosman.com.au/merger2