In a sign of the growing revolt against the Coalition’s forced amalgamations, two of Baird’s new councils have had their first council meeting shut down by community protest.

Administrators Richard Pearson and John Turner lost control of their respective councils as the communities made clear their strong opposition to the undemocratic takeover of their local councils. The two communities are particularly distressed by the appointment of a coal industry figure to the new Mid Coast Council and a planning insider to run the Inner West Council.

The Mid Coast Council includes Gloucester which is a strong opponent of CSG and Coal development, and all three former Inner West Councils have had strong opposition to the Westconnex project that is championed by Planning NSW.

Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“Right across the state we are seeing communities in open revolt against Mike Baird’s decision to squash their local councils, take away their elected representatives and destroy their local democracy.

“Elected representatives who have worked for their community for years have been thrown out to allow Baird’s hand-picked appointees to run the super-sized councils.

“Inner West residents aren’t having a bar of their new Administrator, who they didn’t choose and who they definitely did not vote for. His first official council meeting didn’t even last 5 minutes.

“The Mid Coast community are quite rightly insulted that their council has been handed over to the Chair of a number of committees run by the coal companies overseeing the Maules Creek and Boggabri mines.

“There is no evidence, no mandate and no democracy in any of the amalgamations that Baird is forcing through, and communities simply will not accept this.

“Chaos and disarray has dominated Mike Baird’s forced amalgamation process, and looks like it will only continue as residents see red over the loss of their local democracy.” Mr Shoebridge said.