Local councils have come under sustained attack from this Liberal National government. Whether it’s forced council amalgamations, removing council’s planning powers, allowing property developers to sit on council or entrenching corporate business voting – we’ve seen complete contempt for local democracy.
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.
Greens on council
We know that communities are demanding change, they want progressive politics and they want to be listened to. Local greens councillors are providing exactly this. Whether it’s housing affordability, increasing local tree canopy or providing quality, affordable council-run childcare, our Greens councillors are working on real issues that matter to real people.
Keeping councils local
We don’t just believe in local democracy, but we put all of our political capital and resources into defending it. We rallied on the streets, worked in Parliament and council chambers and fought in the courts to save our councils from forced amalgamations. And we won.
We cobbled together a majority in Parliament with Labor, the CDP and the Shooters, to prevent the government delivering mass-sackings and mass mergers by legislation.
Sydney wasn’t forced into just six mega councils. All of the councils on the North Coast were spared, alongside scores of regional councils like Albury, Bellingen, Narrandera and Yass.
By standing with communities and councillors across the state, forced amalgamations became politically untenable and the Liberal National government backed down first in the regions and then in Sydney.
Getting councils back
We had a big win in the campaign to save our councils, but the Greens won’t give up until all communities have their councils back.
Whether it’s Pittwater or Leichhardt, Guyra or Tumbarumba, Gloucester or Marrickville, the Greens are committed to winding back all forced council amalgamations. There never has been any evidence, democratic mandate and or community support for any of the amalgamations forced through.
We’re working with communities across the state to prepare de-amalgamation proposals that could force the government to hold public inquiries under provisions of the Local Government Act that the Premier wishes weren’t there.