Strong turnout for Mosman merger proposal meetings

03 February 2016

More than a thousand residents and ratepayers attended the two public inquiry meetings held yesterday into the NSW Government’s proposal to merge Mosman, Manly and part of Warringah Councils.

In one of the biggest merger proposal meetings across the state, more than a hundred residents, ratepayers and elected representatives spoke out about the proposed changes.

Mosman Mayor Peter Abelson told the evening session that the proposed merger was not a “preferred option”, was “completely different” from any earlier proposal by the NSW Government and that no previous community consultation had been conducted on the proposal.

“Mosman Council strongly opposes the proposed merger of Mosman with Manly and the southern half of Warringah, which would increase the population five-fold from around 30,000 to more than 150,000 people, and radically reduce local representation” he later said.

“At the 2012 Council election, over 81% of Mosman voters opposed amalgamation and in more recent polling only 23% of residents supported a possible merger with North Sydney, 17% with Manly and 7% the six-council model proposed by the Independent Local Government Review Panel.”

Cr Abelson, a noted economist, said Mosman Council was running a budget surplus whereas its operating budget was depicted as being in deficit in the proposed merger paper, which also lacked a proper business case.

Referring to work by noted academic Professor Brian Dollery and the results of his own internationally peer reviewed study, Cr Abelson told the gathering that costs almost always significantly increase after amalgamations and that there was no evidence for any cost savings in larger council units in Sydney.

Mosman residents and ratepayers are encouraged to find out more or make an online submission by visiting yourvoicemosman.com.au/merger