Local council merger stalls after legal challenge
The forced merger between Strathfield, Burwood and Canada Bay councils has been halted in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court as a result of a court challenge by Strathfield council.
The Court determined that there were legal flaws in the report from the State Government appointed delegate who recommended merging the councils.
A number of other councils including Mosman, Hunters Hill and North Sydney also have challenged the Government’s proposed amalgamations and were buoyed by the result of this challenge.
On 12 May 2016 the State Government created 19 new councils under its forced amalgamation program which reducing 152 councils to 112 with a delay in respect of the 9 councils that have commenced legal action.
The mergers have resulted in the sacking of hundreds of councillors and the appointment of administrators to administer councils until the next council elections which have been postponed until September 2017.
The first meeting of the new Inner West Council which was the result of the merged Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield councils was marked by a strong resident protest.
Several councils escaped being merged, notably the proposed amalgamation between Walcha and Tamworth council, which was strongly opposed by the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
Other mergers which will not be proceeding include the Hills and Hawkesbury Shire and Kiama and Shoalhaven councils.