Muiltiple reports state that the new NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, may reverse the local Council amalgamation process set up by former Premier, Mike Baird.
The Premier is said to be considering a range of options including using plebiscites to allow merged Councils to unmerge, some reports saying by this year and others saying as late as 2020. A plebescite is held by Governments to test whether people support or oppose a proposed course of action. In practice this would allow rate payers of local council’s to vote on whether they want to de-amalgamate.
The Premier is also considering whether to dump plans to amalagamate the unmerged Councils currently fighting in Court. Matthews Folbigg currently represents North Sydney Council in opposing the forced amalgamations. Other Sydney Councils that are yet to be merged include Mosman, Willoughby, Woollhara, Randwick, Strathfield, Burwood, City of Canada Bay, Hunter’s Hill, Lane Cove and Waverley.
The catalyst for the backflip is said to be as a result of the impact of the deeply unpopular policy in regional areas. The policy arguably caused the swing of more than 20 percent in the Orange by-election against the Nationals Party. This caused the loss of a coalition seat held for almost 7 decades.
The Local Government NSW President, Cr Keith Rhoades has welcomed the shift saying that Premier Berejiklian has listened to the community. Read the full local government media release here.
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