Warringah Council’s proposal to take over the Northern Beaches will be the loss of our local identity

My name is Gavin Butler speaking on behalf of the Newport Residents Association as their President. I am also Secretary of Pittwater Forever a federation of 19 Pittwater community organisations who have come together to fight forced amalgamations.

Here we go again, we have already made exhaustive oral and written submissions to the delegate on our opinions regarding the Government push to amalgamate councils but now at the last moment Warringah want to take over all the Northern Beaches so we are back here again. Say NO to Warringah’s proposal to take over our Northern Beaches: https://www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/manly-pittwater-and-warringah-councils/

We need to start off reminding everyone that over three surveys conducted through this process there was only between 5 & 15% support (an average 11%) for one Northern Beaches Mega council; that means 89% were against it.

25 years ago, after a campaign of 20 plus years Pittwater was able to establish its own council, to undo all that hard work and the successes of the last 25 years is not an acceptable outcome for the people of Pittwater.

What really concerns us is that the meaning of the word ‘Local’ will be extinguished from our councils. Communities will have no chance of influence or say over what happens, they will have vastly reduced councillor representation.

It is worth noting the words of Dr Fitzpatrick who was at the time the Mayor of North Sydney commenting to Carolyn Jones, the ABC reporter:Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 2.16.27 PMA very apt and relevant comment to what Warringah is proposing here, one council covered by four state politicians, need I say more?

Now let us address the proposals supposed savings of app $5m a year, international and domestic experience over 40 years has shown that these savings never materialize and the opposite becomes true. We have the savings calculated by one of these large accounting firms who are the same people that write up glowing benefits for public floats, taking large fees on the way and look what has just happened to Dick Smiths after one of these such  glowing reports of supposed benefits.

The delegate Mr Pearson will I’m sure hear a lot of passion tonight and rightly so however he has to judge the worth of the proposal on the 11 factors under Section 263 of the act which are impossible to cover in the few minutes allowed at this meeting. Mr Pearson our community organisation will make a written submission covering the factors that have to be taken into consideration which we hope you will give the appropriate attention and weighting to.

International research and domestic experience tell us that councils between 40K and 100K residents are the most efficient and effective, not 263,000 as per the Warringah proposal.internation-evidence-on-size-local-gov

One mega council on the Northern beaches will become a developer’s dream You may have seen in the Manly Daily a suggestion to increase the density height in Pittwater. Just want we want, a new Gold Coast or Dee Why, from Narrabeen to Palm Beach with no infrastructure.

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