Edward Mandla
Council Amalgamations

Published On: 18/05/2015

I’m neither for nor against Council amalgamations.

But I do have made a number of observations in this matter.

The City of Sydney is both paranoid and afraid. Even though the likelihood that Sydney will be amalgamated is low, we know the City has conducted some regrettable crafty polling where there was more espousing about how the great the city is than polling.

We also know that participants were asked to change their answers after they heard the anti amalgamation propaganda.

We also know that management has been briefing and reassuring staff which is a bit premature really.

In April, I reported that there is no better barometer of an issue than a Councillors Inbox and that Councillors had received “absolutely nothing” on amalgamations. Meaning that people don’t really see this as an issue, certainly not to the “sky is falling” level of the City of Sydney.

Using the South Sydney Council amalgamation with Sydney as an example of hard it was is laughable. No one wants to deamalgate and everyone’s a winner.

Any amalgamation with the City of Sydney will be successful that’s why we hire good staff and consultants.

This whole process started because the Minister reported that local Councils are losing a million dollars a day. That’s serious. The NSW Government has been elected to govern. If they decide we amalgamate, then that is the cards we are dealt. We’ll do it and we’ll do a good job ensuring it is to the benefit of ratepayers.

The only real losers in any amalgamations are Mayors and Councillors. There is just going to be less of them and competition to be one more intense than ever. Amalgamations are costly and disruptive. So are mining booms, the internet and Uber.

The only real excuse for the City of Sydney not amalgamating is that it is too busy to do so. The city has started a ten million dollar project to build one of the largest community voter rolls in Australia with residents, residential and business property owners, as well as then tens of thousands of occupiers of space. An amalgamation would place the integrity of this new role at risk.

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