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Progress Report on Amalgamation

Posted Thursday 27 October 2016

As most readers know, on 20 September, Justice Tim Moore (Land and Environment Court) found that that in assessing the merger proposal involving Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby, the Delegate failed to address one of the mandatory requirements of the Local Government Act (the “need to ensure the opinions of each of the diverse communities of the resulting area or areas are effectively represented”). He awarded costs against the State Government.

On 22 September I wrote to the Delegate, pointing out that under administrative law, he would be bound to consider any new evidence arising since his April report.

On 23 September I wrote to the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole, requesting that he stand by the undertaking he gave during the legal proceedings and allow Council to respond to any report provided by the Delegate.
On 5 October, the Boundaries Commission reviewed the revised Delegate’s report that had already been provided to them without any notice to Mosman Council. I discovered this only indirectly on 24 October.

It may be inferred that in this rushed and secretive process the Delegate saw no cause to modify any other aspect of his report.

On 10 October Mosman Council formally appealed on 10 grounds against the 20 September judgment in the Land and Environment Court. I understand that several other councils are also likely to appeal against their judgments.

As of 24 October, we have not seen the Delegate’s revised report and Minister Paul Toole has not responded to the letter that I sent to him over one month ago.