The Minister does not respond

Posted Tuesday 22 September 2015

As many readers will have noticed, the Office of Local Government has launched an advertising blitz in the media including in the Mosman Daily, headed “It’s time to get councils working better for local communities”.

The advertisement stated that our local government system “is not working as well as it should be and that it is time to sort it out so councils can invest in better services and facilities for your local community”. This is code for forced mergers.

On 31 August I wrote to the Minister for Local Government (Mr. Paul Toole) an email and hard copy letter requesting:

“Could you please provide me (our community) with say four or five major examples and supporting evidence of poor services in metropolitan Sydney under our current system which have to be “sorted out”? … If we could identify the problems (and steer clear of rhetoric) we could have a mature, constructive and respectful debate about how to resolve them. Regrettably this debate is not currently happening. I look forward to hearing from you shortly.”

In the absence of any reply, on 11 September I wrote a follow up letter with the same request.

In this letter I noted that “my community (Mosman) has a quite different perception of the prospects under an amalgamated council and it is at a complete loss to know how and why services would improve under an amalgamated council.”

Three weeks after my first letter, the Minister has still not responded.

As a journalist remarked to me, the Minister seems keener to talk to the media than he is to talk to councils.