Last chance to say no - residents urged to attend anti-amalgamation rally

Residents are being urged to stand up for Strathfield in a dramatic show of defiance against state government plans to amalgamate the municipality.

A mass rally will be held on October 10 and Strathfield is inviting councils throughout the state to help protest mergers.

The message from Council to the Baird Government will be: “We don’t want amalgamation – leave us alone!” And the message to residents: “This is your last chance to fight!”

The rally will run from noon. There is expected to be an all-day free barbecue and family entertainment.

Organisers are also promising a chance for residents to demonstrate to the state government their conviction that Strathfield should remain independent.

Councillor Raj Datta said the event presented an opportunity for Strathfield to demonstrate it has taken the lead against the Liberal Government’s u-turn in policy. It had first said it would not force amalgamations, but now was refusing to rule it out.

Cr Datta suggested at this month’s council meeting that invitations go out to councils across the state to give a massive show of force against enforced mergers. He pointed out 90 per cent of residents don’t support amalgamation.

Strathfield has been in the forefront of the anti-amalgamation campaign after it was singled out in a government report for merger with Burwood, Ashfield, Canada Bay, Marrickville and Leichardt.

A council source said a poll showed an overwhelming number of residents were against amalgamation.

Strathfield Council is sending out a flyer urging its 37,000 residents to turn up in the Town Square. It warns the government is “testing residents”.

 “It could never get popular support for wiping out councils and replacing them with mega-councils. They plan to stomp in over the top and do it anyway. But they want to test the waters first to assess the reactions,” the flyer states.

“If the government sees there is community anger and opposition it will back off.

“We need to meet the test.”


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