Is this the end of Mosman?Posted Thursday 25 September 2014
At the NSW Local Government Association conference on 2 October, 2013, Mr. Don Page, the then Minister for Local Government, declared twice clearly and loudly to the assembled 600 delegates that the Government does not, and will not, support forced amalgamations. The former Minister’s statements were definitive and unambiguous.
Two weeks ago, on 10 September the Government announced that it supports council amalgamations based on the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s recommendations (ILGRP) with an average of 250,000 persons per local council. For Mosman, the proposed amalgamation is with North Sydney, Lane Cove, Willoughby, Hunters Hill and East Ryde.
The three members of the ILGRP were pre-committed to recommending amalgamation and their arguments for amalgamation were high level and not supported by evidence.
The ILGRP and the Government seem blind to the higher levels of service and the greater level of accountability in small local government areas.
The Government has told Councils that by June 2015 we must come up with proposals showing that we are “Fit for the Future”. This vacuous slogan is defined as showing in the first instance that we have scale and capacity consistent with the ILGRP recommendations.
Only after showing this can we show that we are efficient and financially sustainable! This is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse!
It is not clear at this stage what happens to sustainable Councils (communities) that wish to retain some control over their lives and local environment and do not wish to be part of huge local government areas where developers have more power than local residents.