Lane Cove Labor notes that while Premier Gladys Berejiklian may have back-flipped on forced Council mergers, a Liberal-dominated Lane Cove Council could choose to pursue a “voluntary” Council merger.
Despite the findings of the Court of Appeals, Liberals are considering selling out their constituents and imposing “voluntary” amalgamations on councils.
Any Liberal-dominated Council has the potential to force a merger with other Liberal-dominated Councils without the approval of the majority of their constituents.
David Roenfeldt, candidate for Lane Cove Labor, Central Ward, says “We all must remain vigilant to ensure that Councils don't become stacked in such a way that voluntary amalgamations become the same Liberal policy by stealth.”
Lane Cove Labor knows that the Liberals have a flawed ideology. They believe that bigger is better when it comes to Councils despite all contrary evidence.
The IPART Fit-For-Future Report actually shows that many medium sized Councils in Sydney were better managed than larger Councils.
The Local Government Act 1993, Section 218e says that a merger proposal may be made by the Minister or it may be made to the Minister by a council affected by the proposal or by an appropriate minimum number of electors.
Section 218F of that same Act states that the view of the electors must be sought through one of two methods:
(a) by means of:
(i) advertised public meetings, and
(ii) invitations for public submissions, and
(iii) postal surveys or opinion polls, in which reply-paid questionnaires are distributed to all electors, or
(b) by means of formal polls.
Submissions and public meetings exclude a significant portion of the electorate. Only a formal poll allows all electors to have their say.
Lane Cove Council candidates Andrew Zbik, West Ward and David Roenfeldt, Central Ward, will not vote for any voluntary Council amalgamation application to proceed.
Andrew Zbik said: “Lane Cove Council has reportedly spent up to $250,000 fighting the recent proposal by the Minister to forcibly merge with neighbouring Councils.”
Andrew Zbik is clear, "We have had five years of uncertainty due to the possibility of forced Council amalgamations. We now need certainty so that the new Council can focus on serving the community.”
Lane Cove Labor call on all Council candidates to declare before the election on September 9 if they would support voluntary amalgamations without the support of the majority of the electorate.
Voters deserve to know what they are voting for!