New merger plan for Strathfield on the day of IPART report

A new merger plan to amalgamate Strathfield, Canada Bay and Burwood was revealed today in The Daily Telegraph.

On the day that the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) handed its report to the state government, the article quoted a government source as confirming that Strathfield is one of the councils expected to merge.

Sydney’s 41 councils will be reduced to about 20 under the Baird Government’s plans to reform the local government sector.

A spokesperson from Strathfield issued a statement on behalf of the council expressing “outrage” at the revelation.

“Strathfield Council is outraged at The Daily Telegraph’s article printed today indicating that Strathfield is to be merged with Canada Bay and Burwood – yet again changing the goal posts.

“Strathfield Council’s position is and has always been to stand alone as our community is overwhelmingly against the proposed amalgamation of the six Inner West councils.

“Strathfield Council is extremely concerned that it appears the whole Fit for the Future process has been a charade. It appears the State Government has already made its decision which simply ignores the recommendations of the Independent Local Government Review Panel and the assessments by IPART.

“The original proposal was for the 6 Inner West Councils to merge. Never has there been any mention of Canada Bay, Burwood and Strathfield as a merged Council.

“The State Government is treating the people of NSW with contempt. Their behaviour is completely unacceptable and makes a mockery of the whole process,” said the spokesperson.

Mr Toole told The Daily Telegraph that councils will have one chance to respond to the state government’s findings.

“We will go back out to councils one more time for them to respond. All councils by the end ofthe year will know where they stand.”

The minister did not outline whether amalgamations will occur through legislation or through another mechanism.


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