PM’s sister tilts for Local Government NSW presidency

By Julian Bajkowski New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell and his Local Government minister Don Page could soon have the most formidable of internal opponents to deal with when it comes to trying to push through contentious and controversial council mergers. Christine Forster, a Liberal councillor on the City of Sydney and the high-profile and […]

Divorced Queensland councils set election date

By Paul Hemsley Queensland ratepayers who eagerly sent forced council mergers packing by voting for de-amalgamation from neighbouring councils will go to the polls on 9 November to elect their new representatives. The state government’s announcement has confirmed that people living in Noosa, Livingstone, Mareeba and Douglas will get new local leaders from 1 January […]

New crackdown laws for NSW councils

By Julian Bajkowski The New South Wales state government has ushered in the start of a fresh financial year by warning the state’s councils they must now comply with sweeping new powers that give Local Government Minister Don Page the ability to suspend dysfunctional municipalities. Councils across the state on Monday were issued with a […]

Panel urges O’Farrell to push ‘voluntary’ council amalgamations

By Paul Hemsley and Julian Bajkowski A push by the Independent Local Government Review Panel to the New South Wales government to encourage “voluntary amalgamations” of councils has sparked widely divergent reactions from stakeholders as peak body Local Government NSW (LGNSW) continues to argue that forced mergers are not, and should not, be state government […]

Forced council amalgamations in NSW repudiated

By Paul Hemsley New South Wales Minister for Local Government Don Page has strenuously denied that the O’Farrell government is covertly conspiring to ram through amalgamations, vowing that the government will stick to its promise of not forcing council mergers. The pledge to not force amalgamations on NSW councils was a core promise from the […]

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 […]

Urban Taskforce backs NSW council reform calls

By Paul Hemsley The head of property development lobby group Urban Taskforce Australia, Chris Johnson, has weighed in behind the O’Farrell government’s push for more planning powers and panels and councils in New South Wales. Mr Johnson has come out in support of the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s (ILGRP) call for improvements in local […]


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