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Last Updated
Monday, March 23, 2015

Keep Councils Local Media Release 23 March

MPs In Sydney’s North Must Stand Up For Ratepayers

The Keep Councils Local campaign is urging Liberal MPs in Sydney’s north to join with the Member for Lane Cove, Anthony Roberts and the Member for Ryde, Victor Dominello in opposing forced amalgamation of their councils.

Mr Roberts, who is the NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, was unequivocal when asked about forced council amalgamations:

“When it comes to local Government, there is no policy on the table except the Fit for the Future policy which allows for voluntary council mergers, but only if every Council agrees to it.”

“As I said in June 2013, when it comes to Councils, bigger is not better. I naturally support the idea of all Councils working closer together to achieve the best outcomes for their ratepayers, whilst retaining their identity and autonomy.”

Mr Dominello, who is also Minister for Citizenship, Communities and Aboriginal Affairs, said:

“I will advocate that Ryde Council not be split up, given its strategic importance with Macquarie Business Park.”
The Keep Councils Local campaign is supported by Ryde, Hunter’s Hill and Lane Cove councils.

A spokesman for the campaign, Ryde Mayor Bill Pickering, said councils in Sydney’s north were heartened by the two Ministers’ comments.

“We applaud Anthony Roberts and Victor Dominello for standing up for the ratepayers and businesses in their electorates,” Mayor Pickering said today.

“The fact is, the Government has so far failed to provide any evidence showing how the amalgamation of financially viable councils like Ryde, Hunter’s Hill and Lane Cove, will deliver cost savings or other efficiencies to our local communities.

“Instead, we are concerned a forced amalgamation will result in a dramatic reduction in local representation for our ratepayers and businesses and reduce the quality and quantity of local government services.

“That’s why the Keep Councils Local campaign is now calling on the Minister for Health Jillian Skinner, who is the Member for the North Shore, and the Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian, who is Member for Willoughby to come out and match the comments of Anthony Roberts and Victor Dominello.”

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