Sydney council presents 900-page case for split

Stamolis said the long-term forecasts in the report were “out of bounds” and that the consultancy faced a difficult task of estimating the potential costs, as the “margins of error are enormous”.


“Where were the controls on this? Where was the independent assessment of these figures?”

Leichhardt resident Susanne Martain said during Tuesday’s council meeting that the report should be abandoned because it was “clearly biased”, contained inaccurate data and did not present a de-merger roadmap.

“There has been no transparency. The majority of the community voted in favor of splitting the council, and our elected representatives must respect the outcome of the poll and not try to sabotage it.”

Newtown resident Pip Hinman, who is a member of the Residents for De-amalgamation community group, told the meeting that the Inner West Council “could learn from the Cootamundra-Gundagai Council’s victory”.

“They had a community campaign supported by councilors, and they had a split case written by a local government expert that included a democratic path to split,” Hinman said.

Local Government Secretary Wendy Tuckerman said council mergers had been successful in many parts of NSW.

Local Government Secretary Wendy Tuckerman said council mergers had been successful in many parts of NSW.Credit:Flavio Brancalone

A spokesman for the Inner West Council said the organization would submit a business case for unbundling to the state government, as it pledged after the 2021 poll. The spokesman said Morrison Low had also prepared the forced merger business cases for the 2015 poll. Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville municipalities.

Councilors will attend a workshop in October to further discuss the business case before it returns to council.

The spokesperson said: “The council has written to the local government minister requesting a written commitment that the government will reduce the cost of the split identified in the business case as being between $178 million and $190 million over 10 years. will fully fund.”

“The minister has made no commitment in her response to provide these funds and has also refused to rule out placing the council under unelected governance.”


Tuckerman said she had sought advice from the Office of Local Government on the next steps for the split of Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council, which she said would be “a very complex undertaking”.

“Any future split proposal received by the government would be assessed on its own merits, in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993,” Tuckerman said.

Labor local government spokesman Greg Warren said forced merger policies had failed in certain areas and there were “a number of unknowns as to the process, timing and logistics of the splits”.

“The Minister should explain how the Local Government Boundaries Commission will be supported and deliver timely results if a wave of division applications is received by the Office of Local Government.”

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