People don’t want their council to merge – Upper House inquiry found

Screen shot 2015-07-31 at 10.55.09 AMPeople don’t want their council to merge an online survey by the NSW Upper House inquiry has found.

As well, many are unimpressed by the methodology used in the Fit for the Future (FFF) process.

This has ultimately damaged the name of IPART, the NSW State Government, FFF and the NSW Liberals.

The survey also discovered:

  • 58% don’t support the FFF program
  • 58% think the FFF timeframe too short
  • 59% think the FFF evaluation process invalid
  • 79% don’t support forced amalgamation
  • 65% support local govt reform
  • 75% think councils should have more say in regional issues
  • 67% are satisfied or highly satisfied with their current council
  • 73% think services will be compromised by amalgamation
  • 75% think their council size and scale is appropriate
  • 76% think their council financially sustainable
  • 75% think amalgamation will not improve financial sustainability
  • 72% do not support the amalgamation of their council

The numbers are a bleak result for NSW Premier Mike Baird’s Fit for the Future agenda, with 75 per cent of the 795 respondents saying they did not believe amalgamations would improve the financial sustainability of their council and 73 per cent saying they believed council’s services would be compromised if a merger went ahead.

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In fact the NSW Government’s main focus on councils’ scale and capacity has harmed the FFF process already.

It has greatly damaged the NSW’s Liberal brand. FFF and IPART have become dirty words.  Councils are against councils. There is in-house fighting on State and council levels, and the NSW Upper House is in the process of conducting an expensive inquiry. Nsimpson-chalkboard-shortOT a good look at all!

State Government needs to take a step back and start listening and acting on the wants and needs of the people. The people’s voice is an asset.

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