Mosman Council welcomes parliamentary report

30 October 2015

Mosman Mayor Peter Abelson has welcomed the findings of a parliamentary inquiry into Local Government which found the NSW Government has failed to make a case for forced council amalgamations and called for the withdrawal of Government claims that councils are unfit.

Cr Abelson, a noted economist, said the findings confirmed his long-held concerns about the underpinning criterion used to justify the Fit for the Future push to amalgamate councils.

“The inquiry identified the scale and capacity criterion as inappropriate because it was ‘ill-defined and difficult to objectively measure’,” Cr Abelson said. “Scale is a fabricated criterion that has no substance or evidence base – the evidence shows mergers will cost state taxpayers and local ratepayers money.

“On a local level, no case has been made to prove that a merger between Mosman and other councils would benefit local communities and these findings back my previous statements that the State Government has delivered rhetoric not evidence or specifics.

“The lack of evidence that larger bureaucracies are more efficient than small ones, backed by IPART’s recent finding that three of the largest councils in Sydney are financially unfit while many small ones are financially fit, also calls into question the State Government’s forecast savings from mergers.”

The latest development follows a strong turnout at a public meeting on Mosman’s independence on Monday night. Many of the 300 residents in attendance expressed their concerns about the State Government’s push for mergers and their desire to maintain the community’s independence and identity.

Mosman Council will continue to seek community feedback on the matter until 3 November and the results of the community consultation will be submitted to the State Government.