Premier's departure raises merger agenda question

19 January 2017

Mosman Mayor Peter Abelson has farewelled outgoing NSW Premier Mike Baird who announced his resignation this morning and urged the incoming Premier to reverse plans to merge council areas such as Mosman.

“Premier Baird has provided positive leadership for NSW with great personal integrity in many key areas. I applaud his financial management and his economic achievements for the state of NSW,” Cr Abelson said.

“But forced council amalgamations against strong community opposition is a major error and we would urge the next leader to reconsider continuing with this unpopular program.

“Feeling that you have some control over your life and environment is one of the strongest feelings that many people have and the larger the council, the less control people feel that they have over their lives.

“That is why more than 80% of the local population have responded time and again to polls and surveys indicating that they want to remain independent and not to be forced into an amalgamated council some five times as large as their current council and that is why we as council represent our people in opposing the proposed forced amalgamation.

“I urge our State Government counterparts, who until now seem to have had no emotional understanding of these deep feelings, to take stock and revisit this important issue.”

The NSW Government has proposed to amalgamate Mosman with North Sydney and Willoughby to form a lower north shore council.