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What is Local Government Reform?
In 2013, the Independent Local Government Review Panel was established with the aim of ensuring an effective framework for the provision of services and infrastructure to local communities in NSW. The Panel acknowledged that local government works the closest with communities and highlighted how this can be an important factor in achieving local, state and national goals and objectives. The panel stated that a move to larger organisations, with greater ability to generate increased resources, work at scale and implement more effective ways of operating, would see communities benefit from better infrastructure and services and a stronger link between local and other tiers of government.
What does Fit for the Future mean?
Fit for the Future is the NSW Government’s response to the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s report Revitalising Local Government. In the report there are recommendations concerning the amalgamation of councils in metropolitan Sydney, including the recommendation that Willoughby City Council amalgamate with neighbouring councils Lane Cove, North Sydney, Mosman, Hunter’s Hill and part of Ryde.
The State Government’s Fit for the Future criteria are:
• scale and capacity
• financial sustainability
• infrastructure and services
Incentives have been offered by the State Government as part of the proposal and include $10.5 million for each newly merged council (of two or more councils) with a population of at least 250,000 residents and an additional $3 million for each additional 50,000 population above that threshold.
What does this mean for Willoughby?
Willoughby Council, like all other councils in NSW, has been requested to prepare a submission by 30 June 2015 under the Fit for the Future proposal. The submission must demonstrate how Council plans to meet the Fit for the Future criteria and continue to be effective and sustainable in the future.
Where does Willoughby stand?
In March 2015, Willoughby Council passed a resolution relating to its position on council amalgamations. In short, Council decided to commence community consultation on four scenarios, which are outlined in this brochure. Along with extensive community consultation, Council will also undertake a number of studies and research projects to assist in preparing a comprehensive submission to the NSW Government to ensure that Willoughby’s communities are in the best position going forward.
The four scenarios being considered are:
1) Willoughby only
2) Willoughby and North Sydney merger
3) Willoughby, North Sydney and Lane Cove merger
4) Willoughby, North Sydney, Lane Cove, Hunter’s Hill, Mosman and part Ryde (eastern two thirds) merger
Looking for more information?
The information pack provides detailed information on the current situation of Council and forecasts on four possible scenarios which Council has released for consultation. Table 5 in the Information Pack provides more detailed information for Willoughby and
the five other councils in the State Government’s proposed merger scenario. Key references are also provided on Page 10 of the Information Pack and in the 'Important Links' section of this site.