Randwick City residents, ratepayers and business have overwhelmingly rejected a global city council merger, fearing loss of local identity and services for the eastern suburbs.
Randwick City Council has today (Thursday 14 May 2015) released the findings of its extensive community consultation program on the NSW Government's Fit for the Future proposal that shows strong opposition to the Government's preferred global city council merger of Randwick, Waverley, Woollahra, City of Sydney and Botany Bay.
Randwick Mayor Ted Seng said the Council has done its due diligence, financial analysis and community consultation to know the global city proposal is not the best option.
"We've done our due diligence and detailed analysis; we've asked our community and now we have a true representation of what an amalgamation would mean for Randwick City. Of all the options we're considering, the global city just doesn't make good sense," Mayor Seng said.
Council's community consultation program included posting information and a survey to over 65,000 households. More than 8,000 people had their say through a postal survey, online survey, telephone survey, pop-up information stalls and focus group workshops.
Some of the findings include:
- 49% prefer no change, with 51% preferring a merger option;
- the most preferred merger options are Randwick & Waverley and Randwick & Waverley & Woollahra;
- if amalgamations must occur, 90% prefer an eastern suburbs model and 5% prefer a global city (5% unsure);
- more people associate with the eastern suburbs (39%) than they do with their suburb (31%) or council area (26%); and
- there is a general rejection of the global city concept with just 3% expressing support for this option.
"We found an overwhelming number of residents and ratepayers don't want to see the Council forced into a global city merger with City of Sydney, Waverley, Botany and Woollahra, however, people were more receptive to a smaller, eastern suburbs council with a combination of Randwick and Waverley or Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra," Mayor Seng said.
"Our data analysis shows that smaller merger options in the eastern suburbs have the potential to generate up to $235 million in savings over 10 years – that's a lot of new and improved services that could be offered to residents and ratepayers," Mayor Seng said.
"As well as this expert analysis, we had more than 8,000 people participate in our community consultation, telling us directly what they'd prefer if mergers must occur.
"We also learnt that people are extremely satisfied with the current level of services they receive from Randwick City Council, and 49 per cent would support us standing alone if we could, but it is becoming more apparent that this may not be an option anymore," Mayor Seng said.
"According to the NSW Government's requirements and the IPART guidelines, standing alone does not meet the scale and capacity requirements (believed to be a population of 200,000- 250,000). Realistically, the option to stand alone has been taken off the table.
"As Councillors, we're now going to have to make some tough decisions at this month's Council meeting as we finalise what to include in our submission to the NSW Government's Fit for the Future program," Mayor Seng said.
The report and detailed options analysis including community consultation results will be considered by Randwick Councillors at a Council Meeting on 26 May 2015.
A copy of the reports is available at www.yoursay.randwick.nsw.gov.au/futureBack to top