No Genuine Community Consultation in Amalgamation Process

Central Coast Greens reject completely the fake community consultation process that is being offered to residents of Wyong and Gosford as part of the “merger proposal period” as part of the process the State Government is ramming through Council amalgamations.

Wyong only voted 5:4 along party lines to offer a voluntary amalgamation response, putting Gosford in a difficult position. Any resident attending the extraordinary council meeting in Gosford last year will know that the three independents held the balance of power on this issue, with Greens Councillor Hillary Morris joining ALP councillors to vote against voluntary amalgamation. All the independents said they felt under pressure to fall into line with the Premier’s proposal. This is neither true democracy, nor a genuine voluntary amalgamation.

No council which refused to make a voluntary amalgamation proposal has been named in the current merger proposal process – which means that Gosford and Wyong, both found financially fit for the future, could have stood their ground and refused to merge.

As the Premier and Minister for Local Government have outlined their intention to announce new council boundaries in mid-2016, the current process of calling for community submissions is a farce. The Delegate will report to the Minister, who has no legal obligation to do anything other than “consider” the Delegate’s report. The Minister would not be so confident of making this announcement if there was any chance that the Commission would reject a proposal.


MEDIA RELEASE: 11 January 2016