Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:02

WSROC welcomes release of ILGRP report

Media Release April 24, 2013

WSROC has welcomed the release of the NSW Government’s preliminary report into its Independent Review of Local Government, which puts forward a range of suggestions for a major overhaul of the sector.


WSROC president Clr Tony Hadchiti said the proposals to relax rate pegging and the recommendation against forced amalgamations were welcome news to councillors who had made their views clear in numerous meeting with the Review Panel.

“The report contains a number of interesting – and quite radical – proposals which indicates the government is clearly looking at a major restructure of the local government system in NSW,” Clr Hadchiti said.
“Given the financial pressures facing councils it is certainly time to think outside the square.”

“However it’s clear that the Panel has listened to and taken the concerns and opinions of our councils on board in developing some of these proposals.”

“We are very pleased that the report has identified rate pegging as a problem for our councils as it severely limits our ability to provide services to our residents.”

“WSROC has been campaigning against rate-pegging for years and we are pleased that the Independent Review, led by Professor Graham Sansom has recognised that rate pegging puts serious financial constraints on our councils and that the system should be relaxed.”

“We are also pleased that Professor Sansom has recommended against forced amalgamation and instead opted for a system of incentives,” Clr Hadchiti said. “This shows that he has respected the councils and their leadership to be able to make their own decisions about amalgamations and other partnership arrangements, based on the best interests of their constituents.”

He said suggestions of mega-councils in Parramatta and Liverpool recognised the key roles these cities would play in the future of Sydney, as Sydney’s second CBD and as the gateway to the South-West growth sector respectively.

“However it remains to be seen whether 800,000 diverse residents and businesses can be adequately serviced by a single council,” he said. “Expanding current greenfields councils, such as the Camden-Liverpool merger may leave these new regional councils without an adequate ratepayer base.”

Clr Hadchiti said WSROC and its member councils would continue to work closely with the Review Panel in formulating the final report.



Media Inquiries: Karin Bishop, Deputy CEO on 0417 239 539

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Last modified on Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:53

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