Mayor calls for details on 'stronger communities' ad claims

14 September 2015

Mayor of Mosman Peter Abelson has renewed his call for the State Government to produce evidence to support its advertising campaign which describes the local government system as needing to be “sorted out”.

Cr Abelson, a noted economist, presented a Mayoral Minute at Tuesday’s Council meeting regarding the recent advertising campaign sanctioned by the NSW Office of Local Government that denigrates the services provided by local councils.

In his Minute Cr Abelson noted that the advertisements being circulated on TV, radio and in metropolitan and local newspapers state that “it is time to sort (the system) out so councils can invest in better services and facilities for your local community”, however the Office of Local Government had not at any time provided any evidence that councils provide better service in Victoria or Queensland (where wide-scale amalgamations have previously taken place) than in NSW.

The Minute followed Cr Abelson’s first letter to the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole, on 31 August asking that he provide evidence of major examples of poor service by councils in metropolitan Sydney which need to be “sorted out”. Following a lack of response two days after the Minute and 10 days after the letter, Cr Abelson has followed up with a second letter.

“I have asked the Minister to provide me and the Mosman community with four or five major examples and supporting evidence of poor services in metropolitan Sydney under our current system which have to be ‘sorted out’,” Cr Abelson said.

“Given the importance and urgency of the issues, I am disappointed that I was not provided with a response within 10 days to this very basic question.

“My community has a quite different perception of the prospects under an amalgamated council and it is at a complete loss to know how and why services would improve under an amalgamated council.”

In his latest letter, Cr Abelson appended an Annual Report that he provided to the Council meeting which provides a commentary on the current state of Mosman’s local services.