NSW premier Mike Baird has announced that 19 new super councils will be formed in NSW via mergers.
The issue was threatening to become an election issue for the Turnbull government, so rather than delaying the announcement until after the July 2 vote, Baird announced the changes today, with the state government only signing off on 19 of 35 proposed mergers.
The amalgamations end 45 councils, effective immediately. Local government minister Paul Toole said it will be business as usual for residents in new council areas, with services operating as normal.
Nine more mergers received “in principle” support, subject to ongoing legal action by councils opposed any amalgamations, while three more regional proposals remain pending.
Six councils have avoided amalgamation amid strong community concern. While three councils in the Labor-dominated inner west will be crunched together, plans to merge Liberal-dominated Hills and Hawkesbury councils, which faced strong opposition, have been abandoned.
A strong community campaign against the combining Kiama and Shoalhaven has also succeeded.
The merger of North Sydney and Willoughby has also been dropped, along with plans to include Mosman in the new northern beaches council with Manly.
The amalgamation of Tamworth and Walcha, where Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is facing a major re-election challenge from independent and former MP Tony Windsor, has also been scrapped. Joyce campaigned against the merger.
The Baird government was seeking to cut the number of councils in NSW from 152 to 112, with 43 Sydney councils being merged into 25. The final number is now likely to be 115.
Here are the 19 new councils:
Armidale Regional Council (Armidale, Dumaresq and Guyra)
Canterbury-Bankstown Council (Bankstown and Canterbury)
Central Coast Council (Gosford and Wyong)
City of Parramatta Council (Parramatta and part of Hills, Auburn, Holroyd and Hornsby)
Cumberland Council (Auburn and Holroyd)
Edward River Council (Conargo and Deniliquin)
Federation Council (Corowa and Urana)
Georges River Council (Hurstville and Kogarah)
Gundagai Council (Cootamundra and Gundagai)
Snowy Monaro Regional Council (Bombala, Cooma Monaro and Snowy River)
Hilltops Council (Boorowa, Harden and Young)
Inner West Council (Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville)
Mid-Coast Council (Gloucester, Great Lakes and Greater Taree)
Murray River Council (Murray and Wakool)
Murrumbidgee Council (Jerilderie and Murrumbidgee)
Northern Beaches Council (Manly, Pittwater and Warringah)
Queanbeyan-Palerange Regional Council (Queanbeyan and Palerang)
Snowy Valleys Council (Tumut and Tumbarumba)
Western Plains Regional Council (Dubbo and Wellington)
Here are nine more proposed amalgamations, subject to court decisions, with in-principle support from local government minister Paul Toole.
Botany and Rockdale
Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra
Bathurst and Oberon
Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby
Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby
Blayney, Cabonne and Orange
Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde
Burwood, Canada Bay and Strathfield
Shellharbour and Wollongong
Three more mergers are pending
Newcastle and Port Stephens
Dungog and Maitland
Armidale-Dumaresq, Guyra, Walcha and Uralla
Mergers not proceeding
Proposed mergers not proceeding:
Berrigan and Jerilderie (part)
Boorowa and Young
Cootamundra Shire, Gundagai and Harden
Corowa, Lockhart Shire, Urana
Dungog and Gloucester
Goulburn Mulwaree and Palerang (part)
Hawkesbury and The Hills (part)
Jerilderie (part) and Murrumbidgee
Kiama and Shoalhaven
Manly, Mosman and Warringah (part)
North Sydney and Willoughby
Palerang (part) and Queanbeyan
Pittwater and Warringah (part)
Tamworth and Walcha
Each new council will receive up to $10 million to meet the costs of merging and up to an additional $15 million for community infrastructure
Administrators and an interim general managers have been appointed to new councils ahead of fresh local government elections on 9 September, 2017. Councils that have not been merged will still go to the polls, as expected, in September this year.
A review into the mergers will be held in four years.
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