Pittwater Locals Disappointed by Delay in Plebiscite Bill
Pittwater Locals Disappointed by Delay in Plebiscite BillPittwater locals hoping for a chance to demerge their council via a bill in the NSW Parliament were disappointed when it stalled this week.
The bill would provide plebiscites in areas amalgamated across NSW last year, allowing residents to decide if they want the mergers reversed and ensuring any future amalgamations would have to be passed at referendums.
However, by the time NSW Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton had finished her address opposing the bill to the chamber on Thursday, time had run out for either debate or a vote.
Protect Pittwater Association President Bob Grace said the group was disgusted by the government’s tactics in Parliament on Thursday.
“It is disappointing the minister would filibuster over a bill that seeks to restore the full voice of the people at the level of government closest to them,” Mr Grace said.
“However, Pittwater MP Rob Stokes now has another week to reflect on his position regarding this bill.
“We hope he will show his commitment to the people of Pittwater by supporting it. Anything else will be a disgrace.”
Introducing the bill, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP Philip Donato said at heart, it would allow people to decide the future of their councils.
”If the Government has nothing to hide and believes that local communities are happy with their forced mergers, then there is no reason why this bill should not pass,” Mr Donato said.
However, during her speech, Ms Upton said the plebiscites would be wasteful, as well as a burden on communities and the electoral commission.
“This bill is a roadblock to all future merger proposals,” Ms Upton said.
“The provision in the bill that requires all future merger proposals to be endorsed by a referendum is unnecessary and may prove to be an insurmountable barrier to any future council mergers.”
Ms Upton also lauded the benefits of amalgamations, with examples from a number of councils, including the enlargement and improvement of the Walter Gors Park at Dee Why.
The work was “of significant benefit to the ratepayers of the Northern Beaches Council”, she said.
In an attempt to end Ms Upton’s speech, NSW Deputy Opposition Leader Michael Daley moved a gag motion, saying: “This is a shameless and arrogant filibuster. It’s fooling no-one”.
However, the motion was defeated by the government after a division was called – the only point at which Mr Stokes was present during the debate.
The Local Government Amendment (Amalgamation Referendums) Bill 2017 passed the Upper House in June with support from all parties except those in the Coalition.
It is expected to return to the Lower House next Thursday.
Before the council mergers, Pittwater had nine representatives on a stand-alone council, however, after elections on September 9 will have only three representatives on a council of 15.
Protect Pittwater has engaged lawyers and is circulating a petition which under the Local Government Act would require the Local Government Minister to refer the amalgamation to an inquiry.
By Protect Pittwater Community Group
Pittwater - Amalgamation Proposal
+ NSW Government's White Paper + Proposed Local Government Reforms + Fit For the Future
NSW Government's White Paper - Issue 116
Hon Rob Stokes Hosts Roundtable Discussion On Council Mergers from Hon. Rob Stokes and People for Pittwater
Bigger is Better Theory on Council Amalgamations De-bunked by Mayors Townsend and Hay of Pittwater and Manly (New Report: AN ASSESSMENT OF SGS REPORT LOCAL GOVERNMENT STRUCTURAL CHANGE: OPTIONS ANALYSIS) - published 6 September 2013 - Professor Brian Dollery
ONE NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL OUT OF THE QUESTION: At its 13 October, 2014 meeting, Pittwater’s councillors reviewed the NSW Government’s local government reform package ‘Fit for the Future’ (FFTF), which was released in September 2014. The proposal, reconfirming the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s recommendations that Pittwater be merged with Manly and Warringah to form one council, was rejected.
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Community News Issue 212 - May 2015: Local Government Reform - Have your say
NSW Government's "Fit For The Future" process erodes democracy and local lifestyle by 'Pittwater Scout'
Public Meeting on Proposed Local Government Reforms Indicates Forthcoming Backlash Against NSW State Government - Community Votes 'No' Amalgamation Again
New Data Proves Overwhelming Support for Pittwater to Stay As We Are + Fit for the Future timeline makes mockery of fair process from Pittwater Council and LGNSW
Pittwater Residents attend NO Amalgamation Rally in Hunters Hill - Front Page Issue 235
Front Page Issue 236: Pittwater Residents Maintain NO Amalgamation Stance at Rosehill...
Keeping Pittwater Independent Stance Persists: Media Releases Monday 12th October to Friday 16th October, 2015 relating to FFTF Reforms by LGNSW, IPART, State and Pittwater Council
Front Page Issue 237: NO FORCED AMALGAMATION RALLY at Winnererremy Bay Park Thursday 29 October 5pm
Pittwater Prefers to Remain Pittwater: Greater Pittwater Option Forwarded as Second Preference: Cr. Hegarty's Address at Council Meeting of November 16, 2015
Community News February 2016: VOICES of PITTWATER - community leaders on amalgamation
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Front Page Issue 257 Community Have Their Say on Proposed Amalgamation
Front Page Issue 258: Community Have Their Say on Proposed Amalgamation
Front Page Issue 259: Community Voices on Amalgamation
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Community News Issue 291 - Administrators Minute November 22nd, 2016
Mona Vale Rally on Mona Vale Place Plan Reopens Recent Wounds - Pittwater Council's MVPP List echoes Greater Sydney Commissions List for Mona Vale
Community News Issue 299 : Council Amalgamations Windback: Community Feedback This Week: Issue 299
Calls To Restore Pittwater Council Persist: Issue 300
Community News Issue 304: Interview with Hon. Rob Stokes on Mona Vale Hospital
Protect Pittwater Community Forum: 7 P.M. Tuesday May 16 At Pittwater RSL - What impact will the new government body - the Greater Sydney Planning Commission – have on Pittwater? How will development approvals be carried out? How can we recover our local Pittwater Council?
Pittwater Community Forum Supports Legal Action To Restore Council - Protect Pittwater launched + Front Page Issue 313
Crowd-funding Appeal for Legal Action to Protect Pittwater Launching on Tuesday - contact points fixed + Front Page Issue 314
The Local Government Amendment (Amalgamation Referendums) Bill 2017 Passes Upper House: gives residents in councils that have been forcibly amalgamated the right to a binding vote on de-amalgamation - goes to Lower House first week of August + Front Page Issue 318
Community Expresses Dissatisfaction With B-Line To Newport Proposal and Reduction of L90 Service - Newport SLSC carpark to meet Mona Vale shortfall and be used as bus terminus, 100 buses a day turning through Newport + changing from L90 to B-Line services will make a longer commute for current longest bus run in Sydney + Front Page Issue 318
B-Line Terminating At Newport Won’t Work: Community Residents Groups Alternative - Residents Groups Meeting with Project Team notes there will be no community feedback sought prior to new timetable being published, no through city services covering the ‘Newport Loop’ during peak hours, Newport Surf Club carpark to be used as commuter carpark, proposed L90 cuts during peak hour
Pittwater Calls For Pittwater To Be Restored: We're Not Backing Down - Not Going Away, after NSW Premier's Announcement amalgamations of councils fighting in court against forced mergers will not proceed + Front Page Issue 323