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Independent Mosman

Posted Monday 17 December 2012

From the Mayor: The Future of Mosman

The O’Farrell Government has an announced policy of fewer local government areas, albeit with no involuntary amalgamations. There are currently 152 local councils in NSW, 50 of which have populations below 10,000.

Amalgamation is strongly supported by business and developer lobbies, such as the Sydney Business Chamber and the Urban Taskforce.

In early 2012 the State government appointed the Independent Local Government Review Panel to review boundary changes for local government under the Chair Professor Graham Sansom. Professor Sansom had publicly advocated amalgamations in his co-authored paper “Consolidation in Local Government: A Fresh Look” published in 2011.

In November 2012, the Panel published an interim report. Much of this report draws on Sansom’s 2011 paper. The premises of the report are that “the current system of local government is really in quite poor shape” and that “Local government in New South Wales must change.”

The report is replete with generic rhetoric. The report claims that larger councils will enable cost savings, act more strategically and provide superior services. But very little evidence is cited.

The Panel claims that its final report, due in July 2013, will consider various options but there can be little doubt of the enthusiasm of the Panel for amalgamations of councils.

In several polls the Mosman community has affirmed its desire for independence by majorities well over 80 per cent. We are setting up a Committee for Independent Mosman to work for our continued independence. In the New Year we will hold a public meeting on the subject and develop a detailed submission to the Review Panel.