Local Government

449322-65d453be-189b-11e5-8706-97259cdfe878The Coalition swept to power promising to return local decision-making to local communities, but the reality has been very different.

From entrenching business voting to forced amalgamations to opening up local tendering to corruption and now legislation that that would see council elections on the chopping block, local government has faced sustained attacks from the Coalition including:

  • Introduced changes to the Local Government Act making it easy for councillors to vote on developments in which they have a direct financial interest.
  • Failed to democratise local government elections by continuing to allow two and one-member wards, particularly in the Botany Local Government Area.
  • Pushed through legislation barring State MPs from running in local government elections – a blatant attack on Sydney Lord Mayor and member for Sydney Clover Moore – denying local communities the ability to choose their representative.
  • Effectively given money a vote in the City of Sydney by automatically giving corporations in local government elections

The latest move to undermine local democracy is the government’s  ‘Fit For the Future’ package which seeks to amalgamate councils across the state. The package is essentially using financial blackmail to push for forced amalgamations.

Read more about what David has said on the issue.


The Greens and Local Government

The Greens NSW are committed to grassroots democracy. This means we support local councils being active, vibrant and genuinely local.

The Greens believe that local government is an essential part of our democracy because it is closest to the community and is in the best position to identify and respond to the needs of the community. Decisions should be made at the level closest to the people they affect.

Recognition for the central role local government plays in our democracy is a campaign that Senator Lee Rhiannon is focussing on at the federal level. Read more about her work on the issue here.

Petition to keep local government local

Sign the petition to keep local government local

Get Involved

One of the four pillars of The Greens NSW is grassroots democracy. There are autonomous Greens local groups all across NSW working hard and campaigning on local issues in their local areas. You can find the Greens NSW local group in your area here.

Local government gives a crucial voice to local communities, particularly in rural and regional areas. Greens councillors promote heritage preservation, sustainable development, local employment and community service delivery.

There are over seventy Greens Councillors in NSW, including mayors and deputy mayors. Find out if your local area has a Greens councillor here.

Read the NSW Greens’ Local Government policy.

Read David’s recent work on issues relating to local government.

Read the Greens NSW Submissions to the Independent Local Government Review.

Key issues for David in the Local Government portfolio:

Bill to fix forced amalgamations passes Upper House

In a win for communities and councils across the state, the Upper House has today passed a bill to end forced council amalgamations. All parties other than the government have voted to halt all outstanding forced amalgamation proposals until residents are given their say in a binding referendum. The bill also gives residents in councils […]

A bill to end forced council amalgamations could pass the Upper House tomorrow

A bill to end forced council amalgamations could pass the Upper House tomorrow. The Local Government Amendment (Amalgamation Referendums) Bill would: Halt all outstanding forced amalgamation proposals until local residents vote on a binding plebiscite, Require plebiscites to be held in all forcibly amalgamated on whether or not to restore the previous councils, and We […]

More decision making powers to be stripped from democratically elected councils

Stripping local councils of their powers to make decisions about development applications will do nothing to restore integrity or accountability to the NSW planning system. Under the Coalition’s proposed changes contentious planning decisions will be made by unelected “independent” planning panels rather than democratically elected councillors. The Greens know that restoring trust in our local […]

Local Democracy Matters for Residents who take the Berejiklian Government to Court

The Coalition’s forced amalgamation agenda is facing a new battle with local residents in the Eastern suburbs taking their own legal action to save their local councils. With Woollahra Council’s High Court hearing approaching this Friday, residents in Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra aren’t leaving it to their councils to save local democracy. Residents have now […]

Media release: Coalition gives up on challenging Ku-ring-gai Council’s legal win

The Coalition has given up fighting its embarrassing legal loss to Ku-ring-gai Council with its 28 day timeframe to appeal to the High Court having now expired. On 27 March 2017 the NSW Court of Appeal found that the government’s decision to hide the KPMG report denied Ku-ring-gai Council procedural fairness and ordered that the […]

2017 so far: gun money talks and local democracy walks

Dear friends, We’re a quarter of the way through 2017 and despite how busy things are it seems a good time to reflect a bit on what we’ve done so far. Building on our work on council amalgamations that has already saved a number of councils around the state, I introduced a bill into Parliament […]

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 […]

Greens parliamentary package to restore local democracy

The Greens have launched a three point package to restore local democracy and put an end to failed forced amalgamations. Every resident in NSW deserves equal treatment and genuinely local democracy which is why we have a bill in Parliament that would: Immediately terminate all outstanding forced amalgamations proposals, Immediately de-amalgamate all local councils forcibly merged, Introduce a legislative requirement […]