The Coalition has today opposed a Parliamentary motion moved by the Greens in support of local government and the rights of community members to determine the future of their own councils.
The government’s opposition shows its plan to force local government amalgamations even where councils are financially sustainable and have the support of their communities.
Greens MP and Spokesperson for Local Government David Shoebridge said:
“The Coalition government has today shown its true colours on forced amalgamations by refusing to support the right of local communities to determine their own future.
“This government talks about empowering local government yet none of their actions live up to this rhetoric.
“Only a government with an anti-community agenda would oppose a resolution that supports the right of members of communities to determine the future of their own Local Councils and opposes the forced amalgamations of councils that are financially sustainable and have the support of their communities.
“The Greens have said all along that Fit for the Future is an attempt to push forced amalgamations by stealth and the government’s opposition to this motion further evidences that.
“Across NSW, people have strong links with their local council and it is undemocratic for local voices to be silenced by Premier Baird and his friends in big business.
“Forced amalgamations, bigger bureaucracies and less democracy is not the answer for local government.
“The Greens support local areas having the right to amalgamate where there is genuine community support but we will oppose any legislation that forces unwilling communities to merge.” Mr Shoebridge said.
The terms of the motion moved by the Greens and opposed by the Coalition are as follows:
Mr Shoebridge says—
I give notice that on the next sitting day I will move:
1. That this House supports the right of members of communities to determine the future of their own Local Councils.
2. That this House opposes the forced amalgamations of councils that are financially sustainable and have the support of their communities.
Media contact: David Shoebridge 9230 3030 or 0408 113 952