Council mergers, Independent Local Government Review Panel & Fit for the Future
On 27 July 2017 the NSW Premier announced that the proposed Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra merger is not proceeding. This announcement follows legal action by Woollahra Council and Randwick Council to oppose the merger.
This means Randwick Council will not be amalgamated and will continue to stand alone.
Merger proposal background
The NSW Government released a series of merger proposals for NSW councils in December 2015.
Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils were proposed to merge to create a new eastern suburbs council of 274,000 residents spanning the eastern suburbs from Watsons Bay to La Perouse.
The proposal was on public exhibition in January and February 2016.
In May 2016, the NSW Government announced the creation of 19 new councils by merging 42 councils across the state. However the proposed Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra merger was not included because of ongoing legal action by Woollahra Council.
In September 2016 the State Government merged Rockdale and Botany Bay Councils which brought the total number of NSW councils down to 128 from 152 at the start of the process.
In February 2017 the NSW Government announced it was not proceeding with council mergers in regional areas, but that it was committed to merging a further 14 metropolitan Sydney councils into five, subject to the decisions of the courts.
On 27 July 2017 the NSW Premier announced that the remaining five merger proposals of 14 councils (including Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra) are not proceeding.
In March 2016, Woollahra Council commenced legal action against the merger proposal. On 20 July 2016, the Land & Environment Court dismissed the legal action, but Woollahra Council announced on 26 July 2016 they were appealing to the Supreme Court. The appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court in December 2016.
Woollahra was granted leave on 12 May 2017 to appeal the decision to the High Court of Australia.
At an Extraordinary Council Meeting on 9 May 2017, Randwick Council resolved to commence legal proceedings against the NSW Government in an attempt to stop the merger.
- Media release - 17 May 2017 - Randwick Council to mount legal challenge to merger proposal
- Legal advice – 8 May 2017 – Mr Ian Davidson SC PDF, 960.43 KB
- Legal advice – 4 May 2017 – Marsdens Law Group PDF, 87.69 KB
- Legal advice – 21 April 2017 – Marsdens Law Group PDF, 122.85 KB
In April and May 2016, Randwick and Waverley Councils partnered to run a public naming competition for the new council. Hundreds of residents took part and the winning name, which was also the most popular, was 'Eastern Beaches Council'.
- visit the Name Your Council competition website
Randwick & Waverley merger proposal
Randwick City Council submitted a proposal on 29 June 2015 to merge with Waverley Council to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). This followed a Council resolution 26 May 2015 to oppose a global city council and to form a merged eastern suburbs council with neighbouring Waverley Council and Botany Bay Council.
The proposal was assessed as 'fit' by IPART in October 2015.
You can view IPART's report on their website: IPART website
The role of IPART
In April 2015, the NSW State Government appointed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to act as the Expert Advisory Panel to review council Fit for the Future submissions.
IPART's assessment criteria state that they will determine all submissions to be either 'fit' or 'not fit' for the future.
Council proposals will be considered by comparing them against the merger recommendations of the Independent Local Government Review Panel. For Randwick City Council, the Panel recommended merging to become a global city with Waverley, Woollahra, Botany Bay and Sydney councils.
IPART considered whether Council's proposal was 'broadly consistent' with a global city.
If a council proposed to stand alone, IPART required that the council prove standing alone is "at least as good or better than" the recommendation by the Independent Location Government Review Panel in scale and capacity, financial capacity, effectively managing infrastructure, sustainability and efficiency.
- View the Randwick & Waverley merger proposal on IPART's website
- Lodge a submission on the Randwick & Waverley merger porposal on IPART's website
Independent Local Government Review Panel
Following the approach from the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW, the NSW Minister for Local Government agreed in 2012 to appoint a panel to develop options to improve the strength and effectiveness of local government in NSW.
The Independent Local Government Review Panel handed down their final report in October 2013 which recommended that Randwick City Council be amalgamated with City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra and Botany Bay councils to form a global city with a population of more than 500,000 residents. Council opposes this option.
You can view the final report on the Independent Local Government Review Panel's website.
Fit for the Future
In October 2014, the NSW State Government responded to the Independent Local Government Review Panel's final report by releasing a program called Fit for the Future.
As part of Fit for the Future, all NSW councils are required to submit a proposal to the NSW Government by 30 June 2015 responding to the Review Panel's proposals and outlining how each council will be 'fit for the future'. In particular, the government requires councils to address the issue of scale and capacity (ie. population size) first and foremost. The Government has indicated that councils should use the Review Panel's recommendations as the first option they consider.
You can find out more about Fit for the Future on the Government's website.
Randwick City Council conducted an extensive community consultation program between December 2014 and May 2015 to better understand the community's view on amalgamations and to enable Council to respond to the Government's Fit for the Future program.
Please visit our special consultation website to find out more about the community consultation results.
Randwick City Council's draft submission to the Delegate Dr Robert Lang regarding the Government's Merger Proposal for Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra.
- Merger Proposal_Randwick and Waverley FINAL 29 June 2015 (5MB pdf)
- Attachment 1: Waverley and Randwick resolutions (2MB pdf)
- Attachment 2.1 - 2.3: Research and analysis (14MB pdf)
- Attachment 2.4: Grant Thornton (1MB pdf)
- Attachment 2.5: Randwick Options Analysis (33MB pdf)
- Attachment 2.6: Merger Business Case (11MB pdf)
- Attachment 2.7: Service Levels Analysis (2MB pdf)
- Attachment 3: Community Consultation (14MB pdf)
- Attachment 4: Correspondence Resolutions (2MB pdf)
Other related resources:
- Council Resolution 26 May 2015
- Council Business Paper 26 May 2015
- Fit for the Future Options Analysis (May 2015)
- Fit for the Future Options Analysis - Appendix A - Community profile (May 2015)
- Fit for the Future Options Analysis - Appendix B - Community engagement (May 2015)
- Fit for the Future Options Analysis - Appendix C - Financial Context (May 2015)
- Information Pack - Randwick City's Future (January 2015)
- Information Pack - Randwick City's Future (February 2015) second edition NOTE: Woollahra Muncipal Council advised on 2 February 2015 that material errors were found in their infrastructure assets special schedule 7. As a consequence Woollahra advise their infrastructure backlog is now $5.4M and not $15M as printed in this Information Pack. This saving will flow on to increase 'projected savings over 10 years' figure by $9.6M as modelled for options 4,5 and 6. For more information see Woollahra Council's website.
- Letter from Mayor - 1 February 2015
- Letter from Mayor - 23 December 2014
- Community Survey - February 2015
- Fit for the Future - A Blueprint for the future of Local Government PDF, 962.96 KB
- Fit for the Future - A roadmap for Stronger Smarter Councils PDF, 593.52 KB
- Fit for the Future - A roadmap for intergovernmental collaboration in NSW PDF, 405.79 KB
- Randwick City Council - Local Government Reform submission - March 2014 PDF, 1400.85 KB
- Precinct submssions Randwick City - April 2014 PDF, 753.82 KB
- Randwick City Council - Future Directions submission PDF, 2705.37 KB - including Appendices C & D
- SGS - Eastern Sydney Local Government Review - Appendix A PDF, 4923.04 KB
- A Review of Rating 2013 PDF, 271.28 KB - by The Research and Innovation Office, University of Technology, Sydney - Appendix B
- Joint submission to the Independent Local Government Review Panel PDF, 460.64 KB- from the Mayors of Botany Bay, Leichhardt, Randwick, Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra
- Telephone Survey Report - Amalgamations - July 2013 PDF, 640.63 KB
- Telephone Survey Report - Amalgamations - October 2013 PDF, 673.93 KB
- Independent Local Government Review Panel - Future Directions for NSW Local Government PDF, 31.93 KB
- Independent Local Government Review Panel - Future Directions for NSW Government 20 essential steps PDF, 2060.81 KB
- Action Sheet SGS Report - The Case for Change PDF, 66.81 KB (Ordinary Council - 28 May 2013) - endorse SGS Report for submission to LG Review Panel
- Local Government Review Panel - Submission on The Case for Change paper PDF, 373.86 KB
- Local Government Review - Councillors Briefing Paper -The case for sustainable change PDF, 4150.68 KB
- Action Sheet MM99/12 The Case for Change PDF, 67.69 KBge Report (Extraordinary Council - 11 December 2012) - Council position
- The Case for Change Report - Mayoral Minute PDF, 95.14 KB
- Action Sheet GM37/12 Better Stronger Local Government - Case for Change - Discussion paper PDF, 30.37 KB (Ordinary Council - 27 November 2012) - Council's adopted position
- Better Stronger Local Government - Case for Change - Discussion Paper PDF, 98.31 KB
- Strengthening Your Community - RCC submission PDF, 373.86 KB
- Strengthening Your Community - Randwick City Council submission - Council report PDF, 19.79 KB
- Discussion Paper for Local Government Review Panel PDF, 545.66 KB - Joint submission from the General Managers of a number of metropolitan Councils (including Randwick City Council)
- Strengthening Your Community discussion paper PDF, 1262.99 KB - July 2012
- Destination 2036 - Council Report 26 June 2012 PDF, 94.09 KB
NSW Government media release on local government reform:
- Proposed council mergers before the courts will not proceed - 27 July 2017
Randwick City Council has issued a number of media releases in relation to local government reform:
- Council welcomes merger backdown - 27 July 2017
- Randwick Council to mount legal challenge to merger proposal - 17 May 2017
- Eastern Beaches Council winning name - 4 July 2016
- Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra not included in first round of mergers - 12 May 2016
- Waverley and Randwick staff planning for a new eastern suburbs council - 20 April 2016
- Mayor's message: NSW Government Public Inquiry re-cap - 10 February 2016
- Council merger proposal public exhibition - 15 January 2016
- Mayor's message: NSW Government releases details of merger proposal - 15 January 2016
- Mayor's message: A new eastern beaches council - 22 December 2015
- Randwick and Waverley Councils submit Fit for the Future merger proposal to IPART - 29 June 2015
- Special message from the Mayor about the future of Randwick - 30 May 2015
- Randwick Council votes for eastern suburbs merger - 26 May 2015
- Council amalgamation plebiscite hits roadblock - 14 May 2015
- Council releases Fit for the Future findings - 14 May 2015
- Randwick City's Future update - 1 April 2015
- Thousands of people have their say on the future of Randwick - 11 February 2015
- Is Randwick Council Fit for the Future? - 22 December 2014
- Randwick Council position on amalgamations - 10 October 2014
- Randwick Mayor responds to 'Fit for the Future' - 11 September 2014
- Have your say on Local Government Reform - 4 March 2014 PDF, 75.49 KB
- Mayors team up to reject Local Government 'super Sydney' proposal – 6 June 2013 PDF, 43.77 KB
- Local government review panel ignores eastern suburbs council model - 24 April 2013 PDF, 18.01 KB
- Economic feasibility stacks up for eastern suburbs council not a 'big Sydney' approach - 28 February 2013 PDF, 21.61 KB
Randwick Transition Group meetings
|16 August 2016||Actions Report - 16 August 2016 PDF, 72.9 KB|
|31 May 2016||Actions Report - 31 May 2016 PDF, 85.58 KB|
|3 May 2016||Actions Report - 3 May 2016 PDF, 38.33 KB|
|11 February 2016||Actions Report - 11 Feb 2016 PDF, 49.16 KB|
|28 January 2016||Actions Report - 28 Jan 2016 PDF, 48.55 KB|
|19 January 2016||Actions Report - 19 Jan 2016 PDF, 67.48 KB|
|12 January 2016||Actions Report - 12 Jan 2016 PDF, 70.17 KB|