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Time for Reform of Sydney’s Local Councils


Release Date: 17/08/2015
The Sydney Business Chamber has called on the NSW Government to be resolute in their push for reform of Sydney’s fragmented local government system, consisting of 41 separate councils.
 
The Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, Patricia Forsythe said, “The structure of Sydney’s local government has acted as a barrier to regional planning and the competitiveness of Sydney as a global city.
 
“Mayors and councillors need to put aside self-interest and consider the needs of the broader Sydney Region, and its capacity to manage growth and the creation of new jobs.
 
“Sydney has suffered for too long under the tyranny of small decisions.
 
“Sydney’s local government boundaries were developed before many existing institutions including big employers such as universities and health precincts were in place.
 
“Metropolitan planning demands a clear realignment of boundaries to reflect the major sub-regions that are shaping Sydney.
 
“Chamber members, who have an interest and an investment in the success of the Sydney economy, have said that the number one issue for policy reform is a reduction in the number of local councils.
 
“Businesses who have to operate across multiple local planning standards and negotiate with numerous councils find the system too onerous and an impediment to their business performance.
 
“Local government reform is more than just changing lines on a map and should include a major reassessment of the powers and responsibilities of councils so that Sydney has the local capacity to manage and support its growth.
 
“In 2009, in conjunction with KPMG, we released a report Sydney First - Governance Arrangements for Sydney’s Local Government Authorities that identified that transforming Sydney’s councils is absolutely vital to ensuring that Sydney retains its status as Australia’s only Global City.  
 
“We are calling on the local government sector in Sydney to embrace reform and seize the opportunities presented by the NSW government, including, longer terms for Mayors and clearer roles for council leaders
 
“Our goal is to enhance Sydney as a competitive global city and we believe that amalgamation is well overdue,” said Mrs Forsythe.
 
Media contact: Patricia Forsythe 0418 165 466 or Kate Bryant 0424 186 367
 





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