Decision on Council Mergers Welcomed

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Member for Davidson, Jonathan O’Dea has welcomed the NSW Government’s decision not to proceed with those proposed council mergers recently before the courts.

“The decision to maintain the status quo will bring a renewed stability to the councils in advance of the September Local Government elections,” Mr O’Dea said.

This includes Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby Shire Councils as well as Willoughby City, North Sydney and Mosman Municipal Councils.

“These Councils will no longer be distracted by legal action and can fully focus on delivering for their local communities,” Mr O’Dea said.

“The whole court and reform experience also highlights the importance of following proper processes and properly consulting with local communities.

“My recent Davidson electorate survey results indicate the NSW Government decision is now consistent with apparent Ku-ring-gai community feeling.”

On the issue of council amalgamations, 53% of all survey respondents were not in favour, while 35% supported mergers and 12% were unsure.

In the Ku-ring-gai Council area, two thirds of responses were against the merger, while in the Willoughby Council area results were evenly balanced.

By contrast, in the Northern Beaches Council area, three quarters were in favour of the local council merger that has already occurred.

“The council mergers on the Northern Beaches have clearly resulted in substantial community benefits, but each geographic area can be different,” Mr O’Dea concluded.