Community encouraged to have their say on Council amalgamations next steps outlined for North Sydney and Willoughby merger proposal
13 January 2016
Willoughby City Council is encouraging its community to have their say about the State Government’s amalgamation proposal for Willoughby and North Sydney Councils, following a meeting today where next steps and key dates were outlined for the process by nominated Delegate, Ian Reynolds.
At the meeting with Willoughby City Council’s Mayor, Councillors and Executive Leadership Team (ELT), Mr Reynolds confirmed that examination of the proposal was now open, with members of the public able to make submissions either in writing or by verbal presentation at a public inquiry:
Members of the public can make submissions until 5pm, Sunday 28 February 2016:
- A public inquiry will be held on 2 February 2016 at the Rydges North Sydney (54 McLaren Street) between 1-5 pm and 7-10pm. Members of the public must register to speak at the inquiry by 12 noon on 29 January 2016 at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au.
Submissions and registrations must be directed as above; not to the Council.
Willoughby Mayor, Gail Giles-Gidney said Council will prepare its own written submission, which will be the subject of a report to Council in February, and also encourages community members to submit feedback regarding the proposal.
“I encourage all community members to have their say about the proposal, either by making a submission or attending the public inquiry. This is an important process which could shape the future for our communities and I want to ensure the Delegate has a clear understanding of our community’s thoughts, needs and concerns,” said Willoughby Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney.
“You might have views on the benefits or impacts of the proposed merger on rates, services and projects vital to our community, the number of Councillors, ward boundaries or mayoral elections; and any other areas of interest specific to your way of life in Willoughby,” Mayor Gail added.
Following the consultation process:
- The Delegate will provide a report to the Minister for Local Government and the independent Local Government Boundaries Commission on the amalgamation proposal. The Minister will consider the Delegate’s report, together with the comments of the Boundaries Commission, before determining the outcome of merger proposals.
- The Minister can make one of three decisions, namely to adopt the merger proposal; adopt the merger proposal with minor changes or decline to proceed with the merger proposal. A significant variation, such as the desire to include another council into the proposal, would require the process to be recommenced.
- Any Proclamations of new Councils are anticipated to occur in mid 2016.
- Elections for any new Council are most likely to be held in March 2017. The NSW government has indicated two potential options for the period between Proclamation and the new Council elections. These options include appointing an Administrator, or appointing all or some of the former Councillors to the new Council. No decision has been made at this point.
During this time, Willoughby Council will continue with a business as usual approach, meeting the needs of the community, while placing an emphasis on delivering value for public money services.
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