NSW Labor - commit to de-amalgamate Bayside!
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On Friday 9 September 2016 the City of Botany Bay and Rockdale Council were merged. This was a merger that was made by a state government hostile to our area without the consent of our community.
NSW Labor has committed to a policy to de-amalgamate Councils if a plebiscite is held and the majority of residents support a de-amalgamation.
Frankly, this is not good enough.
The fact is that Botany Bay has already had a plebiscite and the result was clear and overwhelming - 98 per cent of Botany Bay residents were opposed to a merger with Rockdale.
As such we are calling on the NSW Labor Opposition to commit to a policy to de-amalgamate Bayside and re-institute an independent City of Botany Bay if they win the next election on 23 March 2019.
Anyone who knows Botany Bay would understand why it is unsurprising that our community is opposed to this merger. Our community is proud, diverse, prosperous and very different to Rockdale. It made no sense to merge two Councils with nothing in common, divided by the Airport and a body of water.
The City of Botany Bay was not perfect, but it was a local, community-minded Council, which had carefully put away funds for a rainy day. The finalised accounts recently released by Bayside Council have confirmed what locals already knew - our Council had plenty of cash and the ability to stand on its own two feet. In fact - regardless of Bayside's spin - Botany Bay had $115 million in cash and savings available.
Here is why we think you should support our petition:
- Locals in Botany Bay and Rockdale never wanted this - 98 per cent of Botany Bay residents voted against the proposed merger. Unfortunately Rockdale Council didn't give their residents the right to vote, so we have no way of knowing their views on this matter. However, it is worth noting that a number of supporters of our page actually come for the Rockdale side.
- The former City of Botany Bay and Rockdale Council do not even share a boundary - the Airport and Cooks River are in the way. Its difficult to travel between the areas. The congestion in the airport tunnel means its difficult to drive and there's only one bus - the 303 - that directly connects the two areas.
- Botany Bay residents had lower rates than Rockdale residents and, once the rate cap is finished in 2020, our rates will increase by more than twenty per cent! That hasn't stopped Bayside raising rates on local institutions like the Graphic Arts Club.
- Since the merger our area has been neglected, facilities, parks, gardens and community spaces have gone untended and service levels have decreased.
- The new Bayside Council is run out of the Rockdale area. Rockdale’s former General Manager is in charge, the Mayor is from Rockdale and of the Councillors who are supposed to represent those wards located in Botany Bay - three out of six come from Rockdale! The Council has even stopped holding meetings in Botany Bay - all are now held at Rockdale Town Hall.
- Bayside has shut down the Mascot Administration Centre and plans to knock down the slides at Botany Pool. While they claim they have our community's best interests at heart the Mascot Admin Centre has been left unoccupied and allowed to grow derelict.
- Botany Bay and Rockdale have very different cultures, history and a different mix of incomes. The position of the Cooks River and Canal and later the Airport has meant our two communities have developed separately and should remain separate.
- After less than two years Bayside has already developed a reputation for mismanagement and poor governance.
- Our Council also has an unfortunate tendency to lie to its constituents.
- The Mayor and some Rockdale based Councillors are presently running a campaign to denigrate our former Council and prevent a de-amalgamation. Rather than trying to pursue the funds stolen by Goodman et al, they are using these crimes against our community to prosecute their political agenda. The Mayor's claims have been used by the Liberal Government to defend the amalgamation.
- Bayside approved Westfield Eastgardens request to charge their customers for parking. This was after years of Botany Bay saying "no" and in spite of the original conditions of consent requiring that Westfield's never charge for parking.
- The City of Botany Bay area was an economic powerhouse - even though we had half the people of Rockdale our local economy was more than twice the size.
Today: Bring Back Botany Bay is counting on you
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