No more mergers anywhere

With recently installed Nationals leader John Barilaro’s announcement that he will stop further council amalgamations in the bush, it’s time for a consistent state-wide end to all forced council mergers. You cannot have one rule for local democracy in the bush and another in the city. Every resident in NSW deserves a fair go

It’s time for the likes of Liberal MPs Anthony Roberts, Gabrielle Upton, Victor Dominello and Premier-to-be Gladys Berejiklian to stand up for their residents and protect their local councils from forced mergers.

Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“It’s three years too late but finally the Nationals have worked out that axing local councils is political suicide.

“The truth is that forced amalgamations should never have occurred, it was an arrogant power grab from a Government who thought they would get away with it.

“This back-down is testament to the power of strong local campaigns across NSW by residents and their democratically elected local councils, not just in the bush but across the state.

“There is no good reason to spare 12 councils in the bush, whilst still forcing amalgamations on 8 good city councils.

“To restore faith with the electorate, any new Premier needs to loudly say that across the state forced amalgamations are now dead, buried and cremated.

“Councils like Woollahra, North Sydney, Hunters Hill and Ryde who have fought strongly to retain their independence will be buoyed by Barilaro’s announcement, and have every right to be spared the chop.

“The Greens will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with local residents in regional and metro NSW who are protecting their local councils from Baird’s government’s forced amalgamations agenda.

“We stand by our longstanding commitment to support legislation in any new Parliament to allow residents a binding plebiscite to unwind Baird’s forced mergers in 2019. That’s a democratic commitment we will never back away from,” Mr Shoebridge said.