Council merger - good or bad?

Story appeared in: Torch | February 3rd, 2017

MOVES are underway to scrap the merger between Bankstown and Canterbury, with a former mayor calling on newly installed NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to reverse the decision.
On the 12 month anniversary since the NSW Government organised the one and only public hearing to forcefully merge Bankstown and Canterbury councils, despite residents voting against the proposal, State MP for Bankstown Tania Mihailuk has labelled it a failure.
As rumbles grow of plebiscites to restore amalgamated councils across NSW, Canterbury Bankstown is spruiking a $19 million assistance plan for pensioners, business support, and improved recreation facilities, that it says is a direct consequence of the partnership.
Council administrator Richard Colley is trumpeting the success of a merged councils, saying $3 million in savings were achieved in the first six months, and is predicting a further $6 million will be realised this year.
"These funds will be going straight back to the community through the construction of better infrastructure projects, like sporting and recreation facilities; business support; and pensioner rebates," Mr Colley said.
Mr Colley said in addition to the $10 million provided by the NSW Government to amalgamated councils, residents will benefit with $3.6 million already allocated to four major infrastructure projects, including the redevelopment of the Jensen Oval complex, and a further $1 million to 27 community groups programs.
"One of the important objectives of the amalgamation is to improve services for our community. A good example of this is the slashing of development approval times from a high of 124 days in Canterbury, to now being one of the best in the state at 37 days for our entire new city," he said.

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Publication: Torch | Section: News | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 124963 | Viewcount: 321