Nineteen new councils across Sydney and NSW have begun operation as Mike Baird unveils ‘biggest reform in 100 years’

The New South Wales government has unveiled its long-awaited council amalgamation plan, with 19 new councils created across Sydney and NSW. The new plan just crunched 45 councils into 19 which will be effective immediately.

“The most comprehensive local government reform in more than 100 years will result in 19 new councils beginning operations from today,” Premier Mike Baird said.

“We are ensuring our communities have stronger and more efficient councils, which will free up money for important projects such as local roads, parks, playgrounds and footpaths” Mike Baird said.

Each new council will receive up to $10 million to meet the costs of merging and up to an additional $15 million to kick start new investment in community infrastructure through the Stronger Communities Fund.

The government has said it would merge another nine, pending the outcome of litigation over council mergers.

It also given in principal support for nine additional mergers, following legal proceedings that are currently before the court. “Certainly we understand this is not an easy decision, we understand there are some groups from across the state that don’t want to see this decision,” Premier Mike Baird said in a press conference today.

“The new, stronger Armidale Regional Council will draw together the unique skills and strengths of its predecessors to deliver improved services and better infrastructure, such as footpaths, pools, playgrounds and roads .. It’s time to get councils working better for local communities in the Northern Tablelands.”

New council benefits:

  • Each new council will receive up to $15 million to invest in community projects like junior sporting facilities, playgrounds and library or pool upgrades.
  • Each new council will receive up to $10 million to streamline administrative processes and cut red tape. (Unspent funds may be redirected to community projects)
  • Ratepayers, in new council areas, will have their rates protected against future increases, meaning they will pay no more for their rates than they would have under their old council for 4 years.

Local communities to benefit from better services and infrastructure

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Local Government Minister Paul Toole said residents of the new Armidale Regional Council will benefit from better services and infrastructure.

Mr Toole said that it will be business as usual for residents of the new Armidale Regional Council. He also said that $10 million from the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund would go towards long-awaited community projects.

“Projects such as fixing the region’s ageing road infrastructure or investing in new junior sporting fields can now be top top priority,” Mr Toole said. “Importantly, local communities will decide how this money is spent.”

Mr Toole said the financial benefits from the new council will improve planning and economic development to better respond to the changing needs of the community.”

NSW Council Mergers To Help Manage Growth

The NSW Executive Director of the Property Council, Jane Fitzgerald welcomed the release of new local government boundaries to create modern, professional and community responsive councils across Sydney.

“Today’s announcement is another critical milestone in Sydney’s transformation into a world leading global city,” Ms Fitzgerald said. “Fewer, more professional and financially viable councils will benefit business and the broader community greatly.” Ms Fitzgerald said the vast majority of councils have run deficits and fallen short in delivering the infrastructure and services to support Sydney’s growth.

With a reduction in numbers from 42 to 25, Sydney’s councils will now have the scale to fund and deliver essential services and infrastructure, supported by funding to kick start new investment.

List o f New Councils

The list of 19 new councils to be created in in NSW as announced by NSW Premier Mike Baird and the Minister for Local Government Paul Toole today:

The Minister has announced that he will proceed with the formation of the following councils:

  1. Armidale Regional Council (Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra)
  2. Canterbury-Bankstown Council (Bankstown and Canterbury)
  3. Central Coast Council (Gosford and Wyong)
  4. City of Parramatta Council (P’matta and part of Hills, Auburn, Holroyd and Hornsby)
  5. Cumberland Council (Auburn and Holroyd)
  6. Edward River Council (Conargo and Deniliquin)
  7. Federation Council (Corowa and Urana)
  8. Georges River Council (Hurstville and Kogarah)
  9. Gundagai Council (Cootamundra and Gundagai)
  10. Snowy Monaro Regional Council (Bombala, Cooma Monaro and Snowy River)
  11. Hilltops Council (Boorowa, Harden and Young)
  12. Inner West Council (Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville)
  13. Mid-Coast Council (Gloucester, Great Lakes and Greater Taree)
  14. Murray River Council (Murray and Wakool)
  15. Murrumbidgee Council (Jerilderie and Murrumbidgee)
  16. Northern Beaches Council (Manly, Pittwater and Warringah)
  17. Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (Queanbeyan and Palerang)
  18. Snowy Valleys Council (Tumut and Tumbarumba)
  19. Western Plains Regional Council (Dubbo and Wellington)

Here are nine more proposed amalgamations, subject to court decisions, with in-principle support from local government minister Paul Toole.

  • Botany and Rockdale
  • Randwick, Waverly and Woollahra
  • Bathurst and Oberon
  • Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby
  • Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby
  • Blayney, Cabonne and Orange
  • Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde

Burwood, Canada Bay and Strathfield

  • Shellharbour and Wollongong
  • Merger Proposals Pending
  • Newcastle and Port Stephens
  • Dungog and Maitland
  • Armidale-Dumaresq, Guyra, Walcha and Uralla

Proposes Mergers not proceeding:

  • Berrigan and Jerilderie (part)
  • Boorowa and Young
  • Cootamundra Shire, Gundagai and Harden
  • Corowa, Lockhart Shire, Urana
  • Dungog and Gloucester
  • Goulburn Mulwaree and Palerang (part)
  • Hawkesbury and The Hills (part)
  • Jerilderie (part) and Murrumbidgee
  • Kiama and Shoalhaven
  • Manly, Mosman and Warringah (part)
  • North Sydney and Willoughby
  • Palerang (part) and Queanbeyan
  • Pittwater and Warringah (part)
  • Tamworth and Walcha