20 new Councils created in NSW

20-09-2019 by admin

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole said twenty new councils announced in NSW last Thursday will work harder for residents and deliver better services and community facilities.

“The most comprehensive local government reform in more than 100 years will result in 20 new councils beginning operations from the time of the announcement,” Mr Baird said.

In principle, the Minister for Local Government supports creating a further eight councils, subject to decisions of the courts.

“Our plan to create stronger new councils in Sydney and regional NSW will be supported by NSW Government investment of about $500 million,” Mr Baird said.

“We are ensuring our communities have stronger and more efficient councils, which will free up money for important projects such as local roads, parks, playgrounds and footpaths.

Mr Toole said it will be business as usual for residents in new council areas, with services operating as normal.

Each new council will receive up to $10 million to meet the costs of merging and up to an additional $15 million to kick start new investment in community infrastructure through the Stronger Communities Fund, Mr Toole said.

“Following a recommendation by the delegate to proceed with the new council, I have decided to create Hilltops Council by merging the former Boorowa, Harden and Young councils.”

Mr Toole said that $15 million from the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund would go towards long-awaited community projects.

“Projects such as expanding the local horticulture and tourism industries, and building critical infrastructure to address water supply.

“The new council will work with the local community to decide how this money is spent.

“Hilltops Council will receive $5 million to meet the administrative costs of streamlining its operations. Unspent funding may be redirected into important community projects.

“The financial benefits from the new, stronger council will also improve planning and economic development to better respond to the changing needs of the community.”

Mr Toole said councillors committed to ensuring the success of the new council will play an important role in the new Hilltops Council, with former Boorowa Mayor, Wendy Tuckerman, appointed Administrator ahead of elections in September 2017.

The Minister has announced that he will proceed with the formation of the following councils:

Armidale Regional Council (Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra) Canterbury-Bankstown Council (Bankstown and Canterbury) Central Coast Council (Gosford and Wyong) City of Parramatta Council (Parramatta and part of Hills, Auburn, Holroyd and Hornsby) Cumberland Council (Auburn and Holroyd) Edward River Council (Conargo and Deniliquin) Federation Council (Corowa and Urana) Georges River Council (Hurstville and Kogarah) Gundagai Council (Cootamundra and Gundagai) Snowy Monaro Regional Council (Bombala, Cooma Monaro and Snowy River) Hilltops Council (Boorowa, Harden and Young) Inner West Council (Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville) Midcoast Council (Gloucester, Great Lakes and Greater Taree) Murray River Council (Murray and Wakool) Murrumbidgee Council (Jerilderie and Murrumbidgee) Northern Beaches Council (Manly, Pittwater and Warringah) Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (Queanbeyan and Palerang) Snowy Valleys Council (Tumut and Tumbarumba) Western Plains Regional Council (Dubbo and Wellington)

Goulburn Mulwaree Council to stand alone

Goulburn Mulwaree Council will stand alone, after the NSW Government last week made announcements regarding the proposed mergers.

Council finalised their submission to Delegate John Rayner in February, in response to the proposal to merge part of Palerang Council with Goulburn Mulwaree. The submission strongly rejected the Minister’s proposal on the basis that it failed to deliver financial benefits, would have increased infrastructure backlog and created inefficiencies in management of staff and employee costs.

Councillors voted unanimously to make their preferred option to stand alone at a meeting in late February; there was no logic in the Minister’s proposal to merge with part of Palerang and this was supported by delegate John Rayner’s report. Mr Rayner stated that in regard to the factors set out in Section 263(3) of the Local Government Act he considered, the Minister’s Proposal should not proceed to implementation.

His reasons for this conclusion were:

The proposal would not improve the financial capacity of an enlarged Council

It would lead to an annual financial deficit estimated to amount to $3.8 million

The provisions of Section 218CA of the Local Government Act would constrain the new Council’s staffing arrangements and service capability

The proposed boundary would have split 72 properties, as well as Majors Creek and the Araluen Valley

a new Council would have had difficulty in meeting service levels and would have little capacity to equalise services due to the anticipated financial deficit

a proposed expanded Goulburn Mulwaree Council would have difficulty meeting the Financial Sustainability criteria necessary to become Fit for the Future

“Our submission to the delegate on the proposed boundary adjustment has been heard, and I am delighted that the best outcome has been achieved for the region,” said Mayor Kettle.

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