This Thursday you can join our campaign to keep it local.
Even if you don’t have time to sign up through the survey, you can still be a part of the Call to Keep it Local:
Contact details for who we’ll be ringing
- Premier Mike Baird https://www.nsw.gov.au/your-government/contact-premier-new-south-wales (02) 8574 5000
- Nationals Leader Troy Grant firstname.lastname@example.org (02) 8574 6800
- Local Government Minister Paul Toole email@example.com (02) 8574 7000
Some suggested talking points
We encourage you to personalise your message, talk about why your local council is important to you and why you want to keep it local.
– “You (Mr Baird, Grant or Toole) have been elected to represent the people of this state, and we want you to know that we support our local council and oppose it being amalgamated”
– Local government is the level of government closest to the people and is therefore in the best position to identify and respond to the needs of local residents.
– As councils get bigger our individual voices as residents become less important, and many localities will have no voice at all.
– The Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ assessment of councils was hopelessly flawed and biased:
– its terms of reference set by the Baird Government to rubber stamp forced amalgamations and super-sized councils
– IPART handed down its final report on the 15th October and found that of the 152 state-wide councils, 103 are ‘unfit’ to standalone.
– This is despite the fact that the great majority were assessed as being financially ‘fit’, but were almost all failed on the discretionary “scale and capacity” criterion.
– The “scale and capacity” criterion was never defined as an objectively measurable feature.
– In the regions local councils, and the secure jobs they provide, are the economic glue for smaller towns and those jobs and services are at risk with amalgamations
– Of the 111 rural and regional councils across the state, 61% were found by IPART to be financially fit and sustainable and many more can be made sustainable with help, rather than bullying, from the State government
– Of Sydney’s 41 metropolitan councils, 93% were found by IPART to be fit for the overall financial criteria. The biggest council in the State, Blacktown with more than 312,000 residents was one of the few councils that failed on financial grounds.
– This year’s NSW Parliamentary Inquiry found that merging councils did NOT save money and in fact bigger councils tended to be less efficient than smaller ones. In Victoria and Queensland the cost of forced council mergers have pushed rates up to 40% more than in NSW
– Most local councils have consulted with their communities, reviewed the implications of mergers and determined that their residents do not support having their democratic say diluted by a merger and there is no economic justification to amalgamate
– Local councils who decide to stand alone as a viable, community-supported and responsible local council should be supported – not threatened by your government with unwelcome amalgamations.
Our local councils are too important to lose to an arrogant state government’s big business agenda.