End the Doublespeak – It’s time for Honesty about Amalgamation

Published on 29 January 2015

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END THE DOUBLESPEAK – IT’S TIME FOR HONESTY ABOUT AMALGAMATION

The Mayor of Botany Bay, Ben Keneally, today condemned the Baird Government’s Fit for the Future strategy as a smoke screen for compulsory amalgamation.

Fit for the Future" gives each Council two options, they can tell the Government which model of amalgamation it prefers; or, prove to the Government it can survive without amalgamation.

“At no point has the Premier or the Minister for Local Government been required to make, let alone prove, their case for widespread amalgamation.”

Mayor Keneally said that the Government continues to refuse to even define key terms including “scale and capacity”.

“The Minister for Local Government says Councils must prove they have ‘scale and capacity’ yet nobody seems to be able to explain what this means."

“In 2013 the City of Botany Bay undertook a poll of local residents on the issue of amalgamation which found that 97 per cent of respondents opposed amalgamation and supported Botany Bay remaining independent” Mr Keneally said."

“If Councils are to further consult with our residents regarding amalgamation, the Baird Government must first be honest about its intentions."

“There is no point wasting money on polls or referenda if the Government intends to ignore the outcome."

“If the Government intends to force amalgamation on Councils without popular support, then it should have the decency to admit that to the people."

“The Government should outline its policy and seek a formal mandate at the upcoming election in March."

“I will continue to fight to make sure that local democracy is preserved and that the City of Botany Bay remains independent.”