MEDIA RELEASE - October 20, 2015
The Baird government has today made public the so-called ‘Fit for the Future’ assessment of local Councils, proposing forced amalgamations in a bid to slash up to half of NSW Councils.
“The political motivations of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) report are called into question,” said Jamie Parker MP, Greens Member for Balmain.
"On one hand the IPART report finds that 93% of the 41 Sydney metropolitan Councils are financially sound. Yet on the other hand, only a quarter of metro Councils have been deemed as ‘Fit for the Future’.
“This indicates that the assessment criteria of ‘scale and capacity’ is simply an arbitrary threshold set for political reasons, as these Councils were also assessed as financially sustainable, efficient and addressing their local infrastructure needs.
“Remarkably, the biggest Council in metropolitan Sydney, Blacktown City Council with over 300,000 residents, has chronic financial problems and fails on financial sustainability but was given a big tick by IPART.
“The IPART report is a continuation of the Liberals’ campaign to silence Councils and create more compliant Councils along purely political boundaries.
“It is an embarrassment that IPART has been used to simply rubber stamp the political objectives of this Liberal government.
“Inner west Councils including the City of Sydney, Marrickville and Leichhardt fully complied with all of the financial targets set by the State Government but have ‘failed’ to meet the bogus scale target. The criteria of scale was a crude political measure introduced by the State Government.
“I will continue to support efficient, democratic and effective Local Government and stand against moves to forcibly amalgamate Councils without a referendum of affected residents”, said Mr Parker.
For further information:
Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain: 0413 581 603
David Shoebridge MP, Greens Spokesperson for Local Government: 0408 113 952 or 9230 3030