Premier Must Come Clean on Plans for Amalgamation

Published on 10 October 2014

Premier must come clean on plans for amalgamation
The Mayor of the City of Botany Bay, Mr Ben Keneally, has called on Premier Mike Baird to come clean on the issue of forced amalgamations.

After the Government announced its ‘Fit for the Future’ package Mr Keneally wrote to the Premier seeking an assurance that the government maintained its policy position against forced council amalgamations. The Premier’s reply failed to answer the question, simply cutting and pasting his press release as a response.

"It is not good enough that the Premier won't answer a straightforward question", said Mr Keneally.

“I am concerned that the Premier’s avoidance of the question signals his intention to simply ram through amalgamations after the State Election. The voters of NSW deserve a clear statement of his intentions.”

“I will be working with Mayors from across Sydney and across the political spectrum to demand that the Premier is honest with the people of NSW and clearly states his intentions.”

“The residents of Botany Bay need to know that the State Government will not push ahead with forced amalgamations and compromise our local democracy.

"Overwhelmingly our residents want to remain independent", said Mr Keneally.  “It is ludicrous to believe that our residents will get the same service with just one council serving all of Botany Bay, Randwick, Waverley, Woollahra and Sydney”

“Our Council is financially viable, highly efficient and well run, yet small enough to be caring and really understand local concerns”.

“Botany Bay people do not want to be governed from George Street’, Mr Keneally said.

“I am confident that the City of Botany Bay can prove with objective data that there is no need to amalgamate Botany Bay with any other council.  The State Government need to answer the simple question – will they or won’t they force amalgamations”, said Mr Keneally.