With Gladys Berejiklian confirmed this morning as the new Premier of NSW, the Coalition must now listen to communities across the state and put an end to all forced council amalgamations.
With Mike Baird gone and Local Government Toole having given up, the Greens are calling on Premier Berejiklian to rule out forced amalgamations in all 28 local councils where amalgamations are still pending.
Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“Premier Berejiklian’s first job must be to acknowledge that Baird’s forced council amalgamations are a failed policy with no evidence and no community support.
“There can’t be one rule for local democracy in the bush and another in the city, it’s time for a consistent state-wide position o all forced council mergers.
“To restore faith with the electorate, the new Premier needs to loudly say that NSW forced amalgamations are now dead, buried and cremated.
“Mike Baird fell on his political sword thinking that he could ignore local communities and bulldoze their local councils, the new Premier must not do the same.
“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 failed forced amalgamations agenda.
“Politics is too often a game of blame and counter-blame. Premier Berejiklian has a chance to break this cycle and take a principled position to end forced amalgamations.
“The Greens stand by our longstanding commitment to support legislation to allow residents a binding plebiscite to unwind Baird’s forced amalgamations. That’s a democratic commitment we will never back away from,” Mr Shoebridge said.
The following merger proposals are pending.
- Armidale Dumaresq, Guyra Shire, Uralla Shire and Walcha councils
- Bathurst Regional and Oberon councils
- Blayney Shire, Cabonne and Orange City councils
- Burwood, City of Canada Bay and Strathfield Municipal councils
- Dungog Shire and Maitland City councils
- Hornsby Shire* and Ku-ring-gai councils
- Hunter’s Hill, Lane Cove and City of Ryde councils
- Mosman Municipal, North Sydney and Willoughby City councils
- Newcastle City and Port Stephens councils
- Randwick City, Waverley and Woollahra Municipal councils
- Shellharbour City and Wollongong City councils