Ku-ring-gai Council wins appeal against Coalition’s forced amalgamation

The Coalition’s forced council amalgamations are in legal disarray with the Court of Appeal today overturning the proposed amalgamation of Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby councils.

The Court found that the government’s decision to hide the KPMG report denied  Ku-ring-gai Council procedural fairness and has ordered that the delegates report, and Boundaries Commission report, are to be thrown out.

This case is a precedent for pretty much every forced amalgamation proposal because every single one was based on a hidden consultancy report. The Greens are calling for every single outstanding forced amalgamation proposal to be scrapped.

Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“This is a real win for communities and an embarrassing blow for the Berejiklian Government’s forced amalgamation plans.

“Today the Court of Appeal has said the obvious, that it is blatantly unfair to forcibly amalgamate a local council on the basis of a secret report.

“This decision doesn’t just affect Ku-ring-gai Council, it could dismantle every single outstanding amalgamation proposal.

“We now have a clear statement from the Court of Appeal that the Coalition’s forced amalgamations are unfair and unlawful. It is now time the Premier listened and terminated all outstanding forced amalgamations.

“This case is a precedent for pretty much every forced amalgamation proposal because every single one was based on a hidden consultancy report.

“The delegates who have recommended forced amalgamations have all relied on summaries from KPMG that allege savings will occur. The Court has now said that these summaries aren’t good enough and they need to see the actual evidence.

“The Coalition’s forced amalgamation plans are seriously unravelling and just weeks before local residents on the North Shore will vote on this debacle.

“The Greens have a bill in Parliament that is simple, democratic and would immediately fix this mess.

“The Greens package would immediately terminate all outstanding forced amalgamation proposals, immediately de-amalgamate all forcibly merged councils and put in place a legislative requirement to ensure that any future amalgamations proposals are subject to a binding plebiscite.

“This is the only sensible solution to fix this mess and it must be done immediately.” Mr Shoebridge said.

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