Greens bill to stop forced amalgamations

The Greens have a parliamentary package that is simple, democratic and will fix the forced amalgamation mess.

As reported by the Mosman Daily:

THE  Greens will attempt to end forced council amalgamations with a Bill in NSW Parliament.

Upper House MP David Shoebridge will introduce the Bill in the current sitting session.

There are 20 Coalition and 22 Labor/crossbench MPs in the Upper House.

A majority of 21 votes is needed. The president has the casting vote if votes are tied.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed last week that all existing council mergers would remain, while pending mergers would stop in regional areas but continue in Sydney.

Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“The Greens are committed to restoring local democracy to all local councils, not just a handpicked few in the regions, because the fact is forced council amalgamations are a bad policy everywhere.

“You cannot have one rule for local democracy in the bush and another in the city. Every resident in NSW deserves equal treatment and genuinely local democracy.

“The Greens have a proposed parliamentary package that is simple, democratic and will fix this mess.

“We are proposing the immediate termination of all outstanding forced amalgamation proposals, the immediate reversal of existing forced amalgamations and a legislative requirement to ensure that any future amalgamations proposals are subject to a binding plebiscite.

“No party other than the Coalition have supported forced council amalgamations. We continue to work with all other parties and are aiming to present this as a co-sponsored bill which we can unite around.

“We are hoping that all parties outside of the Coalition can support this. If this bill doesn’t pass Parliament in 2017 then it certainly will after the next state election in 2019.

“There is no evidence and no democratic mandate to support the forced amalgamation of Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby. Residents will lose out.

“The Greens are committed to keeping Mosman Council genuinely local and we will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the community in the face of Baird and Berejiklian’s failed forced amalgamation agenda.” Mr Shoebridge said.

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