Mosman Council opposes second proposed merger

10 March 2016

Mosman Council has endorsed its existing policy against forced amalgamations and has voted to oppose the NSW Government’s proposed merger of Mosman with North Sydney and Willoughby. The Council will also seek legal advice about whether legal action being pursued by Woollahra Council is applicable to the proposed Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby merger.

These decisions came on the same day the State Government released new documents outlining its financial projections for the proposed merger – nearly two weeks after proposing the merger of the lower north shore councils following Warringah’s proposal to amalgamate Manly, Warringah and Pittwater into a single area, excluding Mosman.

Mosman Mayor Peter Abelson, a noted economist, said while Mosman Council would review the merger proposal and cooperate with the process to assess the proposed merger, it was vital that the State Government consider the real evidence around council performance in NSW.

“The State Government continues to promote misinformation,” he said reading from a Mayoral Minute during Tuesday night’s council meeting. “Its two key messages are that we need to have larger more effective councils like Victoria and Queensland when rates per capita are of the order of 35% higher in Victoria and Queensland than in NSW.

“It continues to tell the public that councils in NSW are losing money and not financially sustainable when we are collectively achieving an operating surplus of $0.5 million a day.”

Cr Abelson reminded the meeting that, while Mosman Council unanimously resolved last month that a one-to-one merger with North Sydney Council was considered superior to any other merger, the Council remained strongly opposed to any forced amalgamation.

“[A merger with North Sydney] is not the first preference of the Mosman community,” he said. “The Mosman community strongly supports current governance and sees no case for any change … or any shared communities of interest extending further north or west to the local government areas of Willoughby or Lane Cove.”