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.

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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:

Media release: Local Government ready to lead on climate change: if we let them

Today’s Climate Council report shows Local Government leading the charge on climate change, despite repeated attacks from the Coalition Government. This report is proof that Local Government is uniquely placed to understand the threat climate change poses to their area. An effective local response to greenhouse gas emissions, coastal retreat and energy policy is essential […]

Media release: Coalition’s last council ally turns on them, as Hornsby wants amalgamation unwound

Media Release 13 July 2017 Coalition’s last council ally turns on them, as Hornsby wants amalgamation unwound The Coalition has lost its last ally in local government, as Hornsby Council delivers a stinging rebuke to the Berejiklian forced amalgamation mess.  Liberal-dominated Hornsby Council, the last remaining elected council that supported the Coalition’s forced amalgamations, is […]

Unprecedented political interference into Waverley Mayor’s code of conduct breach

The Office of Local Government has inappropriately intervened in Waverley Mayor Sally Betts code of conduct breach, with the secret letter confirming that Acting Chief Executive Tim Hurst has gone to extraordinary measures to protect Mayor Betts. 9.6 the model code of conduct specifies Office of Local Government’s role is to review whether the investigation […]

Local Government Amendment (Amalgamation Referendums) Bill 2017

Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE ( 11:25 ): I give The Greens’ strong endorsement to the Local Government Amendment (Amalgamation Referendums) Bill 2017. If the Government had any sense it would endorse and embrace this bill with open arms, because it gets them out of a terrible mess when it comes to their so-called reform process in […]

Local Government Amendment (Rates – Merged Council Areas) Bill 2017

Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE ( 19:55 ): On behalf of The Greens, I indicate our strong opposition to the Local Government Amendment (Rates—Merged Council Areas) Bill 2017, which I think is effectively—if anyone can understand the drafting of the bill—the Government’s plan to apply rate pegging, as determined by the Minister for Local Government, to all […]

Media release: Sky high plans overshadow Chatswood community

Willoughby council will tonight consider plans to let developers build buildings as tall and as large as they want in a recipe for disaster for Chatswood. News that Liberal dominated Willoughby Council is using its last few months in office to further a proposal to remove height restrictions and floor space ratio requirements on development […]

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 […]