Council Amalgamations

2 Mar
This is a submission by Dr Raymond Charles Rauscher published on 28 Feb 2016 ray.r@idl.net.au Conjoint Lecturer at University of Newcastle School of Environment and Life Sciences, Ourimbah Campus, Ourimbah 2258

The conclusions reached in this submission by the author are based on working in town planning within NSW since 1969 and on completing research on various aspects of local government and sustainable urban planning (SUP), a theme of this submission.

There are three subject areas covered

A. Objection to Amalgamation Proposal

B. Amalgamations and State Review of Local Government

C. Options of Councils Working Together and with the State

This submission opposes the amalgamation as proposed as it has not allowed the community and the local councils as affected to adequately be engaged in the amalgamation process (as conducted by the State). At minimum, a referendum (overseen by the local council and the State) for each council area affected should have been conducted. Part A. Objection to Amalgamation Proposal contains a brief statement on this objection. Part B. Amalgamations and State Review of Local Government discussions and actions on the reform (including amalgamations) of local government in New South Wales (referred to as NSW herein) as commenced in 2009. This Part B provides a time line and progression of understanding this review. It notes the State having received a report from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) at the end of 2015. It also notes the State appointed the Council Boundary Review Committee (CBRC) to receive submissions on proposed IPART recommendations on council amalgamations. There is one clear message here from councils, among a number of issues, of ‘no forced amalgamations of councils’. Thirdly, Options of Councils Working Together and with the State (C) outlines a need for the State, councils and the community to be engaged in examining options for councils working together and with the State, especially in the area of ‘urban planning and infrastructure provisions’. The submission concludes, “There is every possibility NSW councils and the State will be operating under different arrangements in the future, without forced amalgamations. The options of the State and councils working in partnership presents an array of options. The ideal would be to formulate the State and councils partnerships that would satisfy community engagement and apply sustainable urban planning (SUP) practices in municipal and district level planning.

The read the entire submission follow the link below:

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