NSW government asks councils to merge, postpones local elections to 2017

By @pathakmishra on
Mike Baird
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird speaks at a press conference after the siege at a Sydney cafe ended December 16, 2014. Reuters/Jason Reed

The NSW government announced on Friday that the councils will be merged to create larger municipalities and reduce number of state councils.

The Baird government has agreed to allow some of the councils to function independently while asked others to merge for better state administration. Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s City of Sydney will continue to remain a standalone council, while the others throughout the metro area have been asked to merge.  

The NSW authority is merging Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick to create a separate eastern suburbs council. Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield will merge to form an inner-west super council, while Burwood, Canada Bay and Strathfield will join to form a separate NSW council.

The Auburn council will merge with neighbour Holroyd, prompting end of dysfunctions of the former. On the Central coast, the Baird government has asked Wyong to join with Gosford council.

Manly and Mosman councils will merge in the north taking some parts of Warringah, which will again merge with neighbour Pittwater. Willoughby and North Sydney councils merge along with Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai.

The merger will prompt reducing number of council across the state from 152 to 112. Out of those, 43 council of Sydney will be reduced to 25, while 109 regional councils will decline to 87. The joining of councils aims at saving ratepayers around $2 billion and bring the state’s local authorities work in coordination and with cooperation.

Some councils towards the far west and southwest Sydney will remain standalone councils. Some of the names include Penrith, Blacktown, Liverpool, Campbelltown and Fairfield. Parramatta Council will also function as an independent council but will take some land from Auburn.

Hunter Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde will merge along with Hills Shire and Hawkesbury towards the northwest. On the other hand, to the south, Rockdale and Botany will join along with Kogarah and Hurtsville, while Sutherland will remain independent. Here is a complete list of proposed merged councils .

Due to the mergers, the local elections scheduled in September 2016 will now be held in March 2017.

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