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We are still fighting

Posted Wednesday 25 May 2016

On Thursday 12 May, the State Government announced that 44 councils would be abolished and replaced by 19 new councils with instant effect.

The Government also announced plans to abolish another 29 councils and to replace them with 12 new councils presumably with immediate effect following resolution of current legal cases.

This includes merging us with North Sydney and Willoughby despite all three councils and virtually all submissions opposing this merger.

The submissions closed on 8 April and the Delegate reporting on the submissions somehow read and analysed 964Megabytes of material and completed his report by 19 April.

Whole pages, a large number of paragraphs and numerous sentences in the Delegate’s report are identical to the Delegate’s report (a different Delegate) on the proposed Mosman, Manly part Warringah merger.

The Delegate evidently started from the premise that the merger should proceed. Rather than weighing up the points in the submissions, the Delegate simply concludes that “none of the factors listed under … the LG Act present an impediment to the proposed merger”.

The Boundaries Commission review was simply a high level comment on whether each Delegate had met their legislative requirements, not an objective third party review of the merits of the proposed merger.

We are contesting the legality of the process that has occurred. Hearings in the Land and Environment Court are expected to start next week.

Regrettably, the State Government seems determined to ignore and override overwhelming democratic views (in polls over 80% of our community) in opposition to this proposed merger.