No forced amalgamations of NSW councils
We strongly urge the New South Wales government to engage in a more collaborative and consultative process before undertaking any action to amalgamate councils. Many of the proposed amalgamations involve councils that have clearly demonstrated that they are viable entities. The claimed advantages of scale resulting from council mergers are unsubstantiated while at a community level there has been little or no serious engagement in the amalgamation debate. Local government is the closest tier of government to the people and as such is most responsive to the needs of the community enabling them to have an input into matters that impact on them directly (such as development applications and strategic planning). There is a very real risk that in creating larger councils residents will be alienated from the decision-making process and that sense of community will be eroded or lost. Participatory democracy at a local level is fundamental to good governance providing residents with a mechanism by which their voice can be heard. This is best served by viable, smaller councils, rather than large, unwieldy bodies.
- The Hon. Michael Baird, Premier of NSW
No forced amalgamations for NSW councils
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