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Treasurer correct on local government in Sydney

Release Date: 23/10/2014
The Sydney Business Chamber has described NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance comments that Sydney needs five strong local councils as a bold and important signal that amalgamation should be at the forefront of local council planning.
Patricia Forsythe, the Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber said, “The Treasurer understands that the future of Sydney as a competitive global city requires strong local governance.
Mrs Forsythe said, “It is clear the Treasurer stopped short of compulsory amalgamation which is disappointing as rhetoric coming from many mayors is one of resisting change.”
Research conducted by the Sydney Business Chamber in 2007 with the University of Sydney’s Professor Edward Blakely concluded that compared to other global cities, Sydney is over governed.
The challenge for Sydney in the years ahead will be managing growth both in terms of increased dwelling numbers and creating jobs in regions of growth.
“A few super councils will give Sydney the best chance of meeting the targets set out in each of Sydney’s sub-regions within the draft Metropolitan Strategy,” said Mrs Forsythe.
The Sydney Business Chamber has long championed reform of local government to create stronger local councils that are well resourced, including with well-paid and resourced mayors and councillors.
“Reforming local government is one of the top five priorities identified by the NSW Business Chamber in its pre-state election policy blueprint, Unfinished Business.
“The part-time nature of being a councillor or a mayor does not fit with the needs of Sydney into the future,” said Mrs Forsythe.
The NSW government is right to keep making the case for change.
Media contact: Patricia Forsythe 0418 165 466 or Kate Bryant 0424 186 367

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