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:

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 […]

Ray Williams must go

Premier Berejiklian must take a stand and immediately remove Ray Williams from her cabinet amid evidence of thousands of dollars in property developer donations being funnelled through the Hawkesbury Club for Liberal party campaigning. Leaked financial records from the NSW Liberal Party indicate that thousands of dollars of illegal donations from property developers were delivered […]

One rule for the city and one rule for the bush now official government policy

In a tortured and unprincipled compromise the Coalition has ripped itself in two by providing one rule for local democracy in the bush and another for millions of residents in the city. Premier Berejiklian’s decision to proceed with forced council amalgamations in the city while bowing to a small number of communities in the bush […]

Community campaign saves local government from forced amalgamations

A strong and principled campaign from communities, councils and the Greens has forced the Coalition Government to back down on its undemocratic forced council amalgamation agenda. Former Premier Baird’s failed forced amalgamations have become politically untenable with reports that no further forced amalgamations will go ahead and plebiscites will be held across the state for […]

Terror and Mergers drives NSW Cabinet Reshuffle

Today’s announcement of the reshuffled NSW Coalition cabinet shows Gladys Berejiklian pressing Baird’s old law and order buttons while taking a confused path on council mergers. Greens MP David Shoebridge said: “Putting a far right wing MP in charge of a new Terrorism portfolio is a real threat to civil liberties in NSW. “David Elliott […]

Media release: Merger dollars go to big Liberal donor

Queensland based software company TechnologyOne Limited has emerged as the biggest winner so far from Baird’s forced amalgamation agenda, with the company picking up an estimated $10 million worth of directly negotiated contracts from just three newly amalgamated councils. Each of these contracts has been granted without a public tender and the precise dollar value […]

New Premier’s first job must be to restore democracy to local councils

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 […]

No more mergers anywhere

  No more mergers anywhere With recently installed Nationals leader John Barilaro’s announcement that he will stop further council amalgamations in the bush, it’s time for a consistent state-wide end to all forced council mergers. You cannot have one rule for local democracy in the bush and another in the city. Every resident in NSW […]

2016: guns, amalgamations and steel

As the year draws to a close we can look back on some of the campaigning achievements of 2016. It has not been an easy year for progressive politics around the world, but here in NSW we’ve had some results worth celebrating. We have campaigned strongly against forced council amalgamations, resulting in many councils being saved. […]

It’s official: confusion and delay steal the day with Baird’s forced council mergers

Baird’s unpopular forced council amalgamations are continuing to cause confusion and chaos, with advice from the Office of Local Government today indicating that there could be as many as four separate election dates for local councils. The so-called “clarification was sent by circular to all local councils this week.  It sets out four possible election […]