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Randwick Mayor responds to 'Fit for the Future' announcement

Published Date
11/09/2014
News Topic
Fit For The Future

Randwick Mayor Scott Nash said Randwick City Council will carefully consider NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole's announcement today of up to $1 billion in financial support to reform the local government sector across NSW.

"There is no doubt in my mind that local government across NSW needs to be strengthened and enhanced.  Amalgamations are one potential component of local government reform, and I am pleased the Government is focusing on voluntary amalgamations.

"As a Council we will take the time to review the comprehensive information the Government has made available today.

"Randwick City Council is in a 'strong' financial position, as reported in the NSW Government's Treasury Corp review.  Randwick City Council has a balanced budget, with no debt, no borrowings and a healthy capital works program. However we understand the broader local government sector must embrace change to effectively support local communities.

"As a Council we have been investigating and researching alternatives to the global city amalgamation model as flagged in the Independent Local Government Review Panel report.  We do not support the global city concept comprising an amalgamation of the City of Sydney Council, Botany Bay City Council, Woollahra Council, Waverley Council and Randwick City Council.

"I believe it is important that Councils continue to have conversations with their local communities about options for reform, and I intend to do that." Mayor Nash said.

Randwick City Council adopted the following position on amalgamations:

RESOLUTION: November 2013

  1. Council affirm the position that Randwick Council not be amalgamated;
  2. Council consider a plebiscite of the residents of Randwick at an appropriate time when further feedback is available from the review panel to obtain guidance from the residents on the issue of possible amalgamation;
  3. non-voluntary Council amalgamations are opposed;
  4. but should non-voluntary amalgamations proceed a preferred outcome for Randwick would include the following:-
  5. The election of Councillors should be based on a proportional system of at least three Councillors per ward with this system being introduced into the Botany Council area;

    The current ratio of Councillors to residents across the eastern suburbs should not be reduced but increased to a realistic level;

    If Botany Council is to be absorbed into an expanded City of Sydney Council, Randwick, Woollahra and Waverly should be kept separate as a distinct eastern suburbs council area;

    If the City of Sydney amalgamates with Botany Council the Port Botany complex should be retained within whatever eastern suburb Council emerges.

RESOLUTION: 25 March 2014

  1. Council is opposed to the amalgamation of Randwick City Council;
  2. Council is opposed to the proposed Global City amalgamation recommended by the Independent Review Panel, chaired by Professor Sansom, which incorporates an amalgamation of Randwick City with the City of Sydney, Botany, Waverley  and Woollahra Councils;
  3. the General Manager continue carrying out due diligence to protect Randwick City Council from the threat of the proposed Global City amalgamation recommended by the Independent Review Panel, chaired by Professor Sansom;
  4. Council endorse the attached submission, as amended, to be forwarded to the Minister for Local Government;
  5. Council reaffirms its position that the election of Councillors in the system of Local Government should be based on a proportional system of at least three Councillors per ward;
  6. a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Minister for Local Government together with the attached submission, as amended;
  7. the response to recommendation 41 on page 15 of our submission be amended to read "Randwick City Council has commissioned SGS to model different amalgamation proposals, which have been supplied to the Panel, but Randwick City Council is opposed to the amalgamation of Randwick City Council;"
  8. the response to recommendation 42 on pages 15 and 16 of our submission be amended as follows:-
  9. 4th paragraph being amended to read "Randwick City Council demonstrates strong capacity as a stand alone Council."

    5th paragraph being amended to read " Randwick City Council and Councillors oppose any forced amalgamation of Randwick City Council or Global City Amalgamation and also opposes any amalgamation of Randwick City Council with the eastern beaches Councils or any other Council."

    6th and 7th paragraphs being deleted.

    8th paragraph detailing the two surveys being retained and the 9th paragraph being deleted;  

  10. Council note the submissions received from the Precinct Committees & forward them to the State Government on their behalf;
  11. the response to recommendation 26 on page 11 be amended so the first sentence states "Council does not support the provision of full time mayors for
  12. Randwick as the definition of full time is prohibitive and would reduce the pool of  viable candidates;" and
  13. the response to recommendation 32 on page 12 be amended by inserting a sentence at the beginning of the paragraph which reads "Council does not support the reconstitution of the Boundaries Commission." 

A copy of the Premier's media release can be found here.

For further information about the package, please visit the Fit for the Future website.

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