A year to the day after the NSW Coalition tried to force dozens of council mergers across NSW, the High Court has ruled in favour of Woollahra Council and decided to have a full hearing into the Coalition’s failing amalgamation plans.

Meanwhile, across the State councils and communities are gathering to support local democracy and stand up to the Coalition’s anti-democratic and pro-developer plans with a large gathering today at 1:00pm at the Tree of Knowledge outside NSW Parliament House.

Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“It keeps getting worse for the NSW Coalition. They have lost the argument in the community, they have lost it in the Court of Appeal and today they have been embarrassed in the High Court.

“Incompetence and arrogance have been the order of the day from this government as it has tried to force council amalgamations on communities without hearing their voices or giving them all the facts.

“We are now seeing residents taking legal action in Sydney’s East to match half a dozen further legal cases that are running in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

“In every case the government is trying to defend its undemocratic and shambolic amalgamation plans and wasting millions of dollars in taxpayer’s money.

“There will now be months more of delay and months more uncertainty while the High Court rules on one of the largest political failures in recent history.

“This will likely see any decision being very close to upcoming September council elections causing yet more chaos in Premier Berejiklian’s “plans” for forced council amalgamations.

“The biggest joke is that the Coalition government is still pretending this was meant to be about saving residents money.

“Premier Berejiklian has another chance now to pull back from her government’s deeply unpopular forced amalgamations and start to restore faith with communities from Tumbarumba,

Leichhardt and North Sydney.

“The Greens remain shoulder to shoulder with local communities in their struggle to protect local democracy from the Coalition and their developer mates who are desperate for bigger, less democratic councils,” Mr Shoebridge said.