The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has begun consideration of the public submissions received during July. Around 1560 submissions were received.
The public was invited to comment on council submissions into IPART under the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future (FftF) reforms.
Pittwater’s proposal to FftF received 47 submissions. This compares to Warringah with only nine and Manly with four.
The high number of submissions on the Pittwater Council’s proposal reflects the Pittwater’s residents involvement in our community.
Pittwater’s proposal (to stay as it is, on its present boundaries) received 89% resident support.
IPART Chairman Dr Peter Boxall said the volume of submissions received by the 31 July deadline was in line with expectations, and that issues raised in relation to each council’s proposal would be considered as part of the assessment.
“All submissions are being reviewed in light of the criteria set down by the NSW Government in making our assessment of whether a council is ‘fit’ or ‘not fit’,” Dr Boxall said.
Under the assessment criteria, council proposals need to demonstrate that they:
- have the scale and capacity to engage effectively across community, industry and government
- are financially sustainable
- effectively manage infrastructure and deliver services for communities, and
- are efficient
Many submissions received supported their council’s position to remain as a stand-alone council, due to satisfaction with their council’s current performance and concerns about reduced representation, cost, and loss of local identity. Some others were dissatisfied with the position taken by their council and were concerned an opportunity had been missed.
Council proposals were required to consider the ILGRP recommendations as their first option, but any alternatives put forward are also being assessed as to whether they will deliver benefits to the community that are at least as good as the ILGRP recommendations.
Dr Boxall said IPART is on track to deliver an assessment of each council’s proposal to government within the required timeframe.
“We will deliver our technical assessment of each council’s proposal to the Minister for Local Government by 16 October,” Dr Boxall said.
Copies of the submissions received for each council will be added to the IPART website www.ipart.nsw.gov.au. Those submissions where the author has requested confidentiality will not be posted.