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Premier sets clear direction for local council reform

Release Date: 20/10/2014
The Sydney Business Chamber has called on mayors and councillors to heed the Premier’s advice of putting ‘pride in the back seat’ and to embrace council amalgamation to create a stronger Sydney.
The Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, Patricia Forsythe said, “It’s time for the local councils to get serious about reform. Local councils should end the talk of ‘no forced amalgamation’ and seize the opportunity presented by the NSW government for support to realign council boundaries.
“A benefit of consolidated councils would be the amalgamation of planning resources and a focus on the sub-regional strategy that underpins the Department of Planning’s draft Metropolitan Strategy and its focus on dwelling approvals and job targets.
“Amalgamating local government would give councils the resources to focus on local service delivery as well as enabling a more strategic planning approach to development within their areas.
“Sydney is governed by 41 councils of different shapes and sizes. It is a system that is out of step with the governance of other global cities and no longer works for our global city.
“Local councils have significant responsibilities that shape communities and inadequate resources derived from a small rate-base, is a recipe for weak councils.
“This is a time for strong councils to underpin and manage the growth projected for Sydney over the coming decades. Councils need resources for important issues like planning; they need to demonstrate they have the needs, not only of their communities, but the entire Sydney region in mind when making decisions.
Media contact: Patricia Forsythe 0418 165 466 or Kate Bryant 0424 186 367

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