Community umbrella group Pittwater Forever, representing 19 community groups and their members, today urged Premier Gladys Berejiklian to restore local democracy to Pittwater.
Pittwater Forever chairman Craig Boaden made the call, saying “The Premier has identified forced Council amalgamations as the top liability for her government. However, she has made the timid decision not to merge only those Councils in country NSW already in the courts, to save National Party seats. The government will press ahead with the merger process for Sydney Councils, including fighting several Councils through the courts.
“The merger of Pittwater with two other Councils continues to be intensely opposed by a large majority of Pittwater residents, with 89% surveyed favouring retaining Pittwater Council.”
“Under the new arrangements Pittwater is once again being submerged by the interests of others from outside the area. Pittwater residents are angry that they have lost their representation and independence.
“If the Premier was really fair dinkum about listening to the community and acting on their clearly expressed wishes, she would immediately reverse the ill-considered merger of Pittwater with other areas and re-establish Pittwater Council on the boundaries as they were pre May 2016″, Boaden adds.
The Pittwater area includes suburbs at the northern end of Sydney’s coastline, stretching from Narrabeen up to Palm Beach. Until the forced mergers in 2016, it was the last new LGA, seceding from Warringah in 1992. The Pittwater community fought hard to leave the much larger Council and remains deeply angered by the government’s unilateral decision to force a merger with other Councils.