GREENS CALL ON COUNCIL TO STAY STRONG ON MERGERS
Wed 11 November 2015
Marrickville Greens Councillors called on Inner West mayors to respect the resolutions of their Councils and continue to stand up against forced amalgamations, after the Councils adopted near identical resolutions that claim to resist amalgamations and to submit merger options under protest – with a view to them only being implemented if the Baird Government forces the issue.
Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “It’s clear that the vast majority of residents in the Inner West want their Council to stand alone and not merge and that’s the position that Marrickville Council took last night.”
The Greens voted against submitting a ‘Plan B’ merger for a Marrickville-Ashfield-Leichhardt Council, as the Greens believe that Councils should not be merged without a vote of affected residents.
Clr Ellsmore said, “The Greens are concerned that the Labor Mayors for Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield have given the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole, the impression that our Councils wish to merge, when the resolutions adopted by all three Councils last night explicitly opposed any voluntary amalgamation.
“Local Councils belong to their residents, not Premier Mike Baird. The community should decide on any merger.
“The Liberal Government would like nothing more than to abolish progressive inner city Councils like Marrickville and Leichhardt. It is these Councils that have stood up to WestConnex and will look out for the communities’ interest as the State Government pushes for open slather for development in significant ‘growth corridors’ through the Inner West.
“It is deeply disappointing that Labor Councillors have backed a Plan B merger option and are actively promoting it in the media.
“Only last month they were making strong public statements they would stand up and fight for their Councils. What has changed?
“The Liberal Government does not have the power to sack financially sound and successful Councils like Marrickville, and they have created bogus size and scale criteria to create an excuse to merge Councils. The Greens will continue to fight against forced amalgamations and the right of communities to determine the future of their Councils,” Clr Ellsmore said.
The Greens were successful in amending the motion to conduct a community consultation on the proposed plan B merger with Leichhardt and Ashfield Councils. A copy of the motion passed is below.
More information: Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213
The formal statement from Marrickville Council outlining Council’s position can be found here: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/newsandnotices/mediareleases/ashfield-leichhardt-and-marrickville-to-submit-joint-merger-preference/.
The Greens encourage residents to make their voices heard by:
- Emailing the Marrickville Councillors at email@example.com [email reaches all Councillors];
- Signing and sharing the online petition on the website of Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong at http://www.jennyleong.org/marrickville_council;
- Liking and following Save our Councils, the statewide campaign against forced amalgamations; and
- Attending the Save our Councils rally outside NSW Parliament at 12pm on Wednesday 18 November 2015.
For more information see the Save Marrickville Council campaign page.
10 Nov 2015: C1115 Item 1 MAYORAL MINUTE: COUNCIL’S RESPONSE TO IPART ASSESSMENT AND THE NSW STATE GOVERNMENT’S ULTIMATUM TO COUNCILS
- Council reinforce to its community, staff and the NSW State Government that its preferred option is to stand alone and is fundamentally opposed to forced amalgamations;
- Given the legal predicament we now find ourselves in and the ultimatum issued by the NSW State Government, submit a first merger preference for Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield Council and a second merger preference for Marrickville and City of Sydney Council by 18 November 2015;
- Council signal strongly to the State Government that it will:
- immediately withdraw its merger preferences if the State Government does not proceed with forced amalgamations;
- not support an Inner West Council amalgamation proposition comprising Marrickville, Leichhardt, Ashfield, Burwood, Strathfield and Canada Bay Councils under any circumstances;
- Council urgently undertake a community engagement process to inform residents of the latest developments. The community engagement process must highlight that Marrickville Council’s ongoing preferred option is to stand alone, and provide a genuine opportunity for residents to consider and provide feedback on the potential benefits and risks of an amalgamated Marrickville-Leichhardt-Ashfield Council, including through a survey and community information sessions; and
- A report be provided back to the first Council meeting in 2016.