NSW is in danger of going backwards and the things you love about your local area could be lost forever. The State Government’s “Fit for the Future” plans will wind back your and your community’s say by changing the role of local government.
Amalgamations will create super-sized councils with up to 600,000 residents. Does that sound local to you?
Dramatically reducing the number of local councils across NSW would make it harder for you to work with your local council and have your say on the future of your area.
The Sansom Review (“Independent Local Government Review Panel”) proposes amalgamating current councils into new mega-councils with hundreds of thousands of residents lumped together.
“It would be more cost effective”
Amalgamations will be costly and disruptive. And savings will not be there.
Research done of 736 US municipalities (councils) by Canadian Frontier Center shows that medium size councils, those between 40,000 and 100,000 residents, are the cheapest and most efficient. Meaning rates are less. (Click graph to see more detail)
In New Zealand, seven of Auckland’s councils were amalgamated into one. The process took more than 3 years, costing $millions and Auckland has debt of $3 billion which is forecast to blow out to $12 billion over the coming decade – that’s $6000 for every resident!
When Premier Jeff Kennett sacked councils across Victoria in 1996 nearly 11,000 people lost their jobs, local assets like community centres and public buildings were sold off and data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows almost no money was saved in the process.
“It would improve the quality of services”
It will be harder for you to talk to your local councillors about the issues in your area when your council has 300,000 residents.
It will be much harder for community members without the financial backing of the major parties to be elected to councils that could be larger than Tasmania – as recommended for a ‘super Sydney’ council.
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