New warning on outsourced advice

Governments’ heavy reliance on reports from commercial consultants can have “pernicious effects” on policy making, a new analysis says.

Opinion – Amalgamation issue just won’t go away

The NSW Government’s disastrous council amalgamation plans, abandoned after public outcries and legal challenges, remain an issue to many in the state. The Labor Opposition says that the Government still has a hidden agenda, and many councils who spent millions of dollars on preparing for amalgamations are still trying to get compensation. The issue has […]

That was the year that was – Goodbye to 2017

The diversity of the stories we cover in Government News never ceases to amaze. We try to stay away from the politics – that gets enough coverage in the mainstream media – which means we often look at topics that don’t get a lot of coverage elsewhere. We thought one way of taking a perspective […]

Perth councils push their ideas for mergers

By Paul Hemsley The Western Australian government’s ambitious and controversial plan to “create fewer, bigger, stronger councils” by amalgamating Perth’s metropolitan councils is quickly taking shape after 19 local governments submitted their own merger ideas to the Independent Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB). The council submissions are the latest step in Premier Colin Barnett’s wider […]

Government research finds rate rises more popular than council mergers

By Paul Hemsley New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell and his Local Government Minister Don Page have a new electoral headache to deal with in their efforts to sell the controversial idea of council mergers in the state. New polling research commissioned by the Independent Local Government Review Panel in New South Wales has revealed […]

Clover to spend $1.9 billion on City of Sydney’s infrastructure

By Paul Hemsley City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has committed to an overhaul of the inner city’s streets and infrastructure by announcing that the council will embark on its largest ever capital spending program work worth $1.9 billion over the next decade. A persistent advocate of urban renewal that favours people over cars, […]

Reforming councils without amalgamation

By Chris Johnson* With council elections in NSW complete and submissions to a government review of the viability of local government submitted in September, now is the time to rethink the third tier of government. Many councils seem to want to remain as they are, but research shows that up to half of NSW councils […]

Forced merger fears resurface

By Julian Bajkowski and Paul Hemsley The head of the NSW Local Government Shires Association, Keith Rhoades, has downplayed a front page Daily Telegraph report that the O’Farrell government is preparing to backflip on a key election promise and ram through forced council amalgamations. A move to embark on forced mergers would have significant consequences […]


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