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Setting Up Sydney for Jobs Growth

Release Date: 21/12/2015
The Sydney Business Chamber has congratulated the NSW Government on taking the politically tough decision to reduce the number of Sydney Councils but said it should be considered as a first step with the long term goal to align local government with the six regions that are at the core of the Greater Sydney Commission.
The Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, Patricia Forsythe said, “Fewer local councils does not have to mean a diminution of local governance, rather it will strengthen the rate base of councils to ensure they have the capacity to manage key infrastructure and support local communities.
"Cities across the world have consolidated councils as a step to remain globally competitive.
“This decision is about positioning Sydney to better manage infrastructure, population and jobs growth, without losing the unique identity of the city’s localities.  
“However, reform must be about more than mergers. Local councils need strong business plans and robust governance structures, they need to be accountable, and have clear business growth targets.
“Within the current structure, businesses that need to work with multiple councils, meet the challenge of varied local planning standards and mixed messages on project support.
“For business, the goal is to see Sydney as a competitive global city and as the recent IPART report has shown, 71 per cent of Sydney councils were deemed not fit to manage their role within a growing and changing city.
“Creating the capacity for Sydney to manage its predicted growth to almost 6 million people by 2031 requires a strong local government which has the ability to oversee large projects and work with business on infrastructure projects to manage Sydney’s growth.
“International cities have enhanced the capacity of local councils, by creating stronger governance structures and increased scale, which has allowed them to create resilient and effective cities that are able to manage their growth and development.
“Local government reform is an advocacy issue the Chamber has pursued in response to the views of its members for the past decade,” said Mrs Forsythe.
Media contact: Patricia Forsythe 0418 165 466 Kate Bryant 0424 186 367

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