May 6 - 12, 2018: Issue 358

Pittwater's Phil Walker's GIPA Application For the KPMG ‘Business Case’ on forcibly amalgamated councils

Amalgamation of NSW councils was based on analysis by consultancy KPMG. The government will not release it. A Pittwater citizen is using FOI legislation to force disclosure in court at the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). 

Pittwater resident Phil Walker has brought a GIPA (freedom of information) application for the KPMG ‘Business Case’ and source documents used by the Baird/Berejiklian Government to force council amalgamations, including that of Pittwater. 

He argues that the Government has waived Cabinet privilege over source KPMG documents by publicly releasing and relying on a short form KPMG summary report and merger proposals that directly named those sources.  

Mr. Walker also alleges that the Premier’s Department has failed to carry out adequate searches. 

The films below have been put together by John Illingsworth. This Report by Phil Jenkyn OAM, Save Our Councils Coalition (SOCC), whom readers may remember through Pittwater Online News' Inaugural Sydney Harbour and Coast Walk series.

Mr. Walker has previously worked with the Save Beeby Park Committee, among other community focused groups such as Save Mona Vale, which focused on the Mona Vale Place Plan and residents who were trying to stop all the large trees being cut down in Mona Vale's Village Park during B-Line construction works.

The tree cull went ahead. 

Following consultation with local stakeholders and community groups, it was decided that replacement trees would include Norfolk Island Pine and Swamp Mahogany.

'Replanted trees will be semi-mature and replanted as soon as possible after the mound has been adjusted.’

In total 26 trees were to be lost and it was a requirement that the Offset for these will be 118 trees planted 'on or near the impacted site', as per the documents available on the Mona Vale page of the B-Line website.

Those 118 trees have not yet appeared, and what has been replanted is definitely NOT 'semi-mature'.

Mr. Walker's GIPA application: This is the first (Part 1) of a number of videos that will follow this case through to completion.



Pittwater council and many other good local councils were destroyed in the Government’s attack on local democracy and its failed forced amalgamation agenda.

The Government based its case for destroying 78 councils across NSW on a summary KPMG report containing final figures with nominated sources, alleging financial benefits from mergers.

The Government refuses to release these KPMG sources, including the ‘Business Case’ and ‘merger impacts and analysis’, on the basis of ‘Cabinet-in-confidence’.

However, to date they have released over 40 KPMG documents to Phil Walker in this GIPA application, all stamped ‘Cabinet-in-confidence’. They have waived their privilege over those documents. Are they not also by their actions deemed to have waived any claim of ‘Cabinet-in-confidence’ over KPMG source documents?

Shouldn’t the Government publicly release these kinds of documents anyway, whether it is over forced amalgamations, moving the Powerhouse, building stadiums or light rail or motorways? Doesn’t the public interest, fairness and transparency demand it?

This is the second (Part 2) of a number of videos that will follow this case through to completion.



Phil Walker was in court on 26 March at a directions hearing before the Tribunal. 

Issues arose relating to representation, the scope of the application and evidence to be called for the hearing. 

In Hyde Park afterwards, a discussion ensued between Phil Walker and Phil Jenkyn about the preparation needed for the hearing, affidavit evidence about surrounding circumstances and KPMG reports, and generally about the conduct of the Department and Government.

A Government hiding KPMG source material while at the same time spruiking billions of dollars of alleged benefits from the KPMG report is a low act and a complete disgrace.

Those who fight for the public interest should never be seen by governments as the enemy.

This is the third (Part 3) of a number of videos that will follow this case through to completion.



Hearing day arrived at NCAT on 10 April 2018. The Crown witnesses cross-examined by Phil Walker revealed inadequate searching for KPMG documents. Walker’s evidence included the affidavit of Phil Jenkyn, who was not cross-examined. The Applicant is to file a further written submission by 17 April and the Crown by 15 May. The case will then await decision. 

Evidence uncovered through GIPA legislation and at NCAT will be helpful in Pittwater getting its council back. 

This is the fourth (Part 4) of a number of videos that will follow this case through to completion.




Pittwater - Amalgamation Proposal 

+ NSW Government's White Paper Proposed Local Government Reforms + Fit For the Future

Pittwater Council Community Forum on Amalgamation and Planning - May 2013

Pittwater - To Be Or Not To Be?

Hands Off Pittwater !! - Media Releases on the Dee Why Community Consultation on the Future Directions for Local Government proposals 

Transcription of Speakers at Independent Local Government Review - Dee Why, 4th of June, 2013

Front Page Issue 115 - Amalgamation and Transcription of Community Consultation by ILG

NSW Government's White Paper - Issue 116

Hon Rob Stokes Hosts Roundtable Discussion On Council Mergers from Hon. Rob Stokes and People for Pittwater

Pittwater Council submissions on the White Paper – A new planning system for NSW and the Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney and Future Directions for NSW Local Government – Twenty Essential Steps 

Presentation by Better Planning Network at Mona Vale Memorial Hall on the NSW Government's White Paper

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. 

Pittwater residents are satisfied with Council – according to latest survey results - 10 Nov 2014 Community News

Front Page Issue 185

One ‘mega council’ Would Be A Disaster for Pittwater - Pittwater residents are satisfied with Council - NSW government's Fit for the Future package includes amendments that make it harder for councils to prove they are financially viable, write Professor Brian Dollery and Joseph Drew - Front Page Issue 189

Artspot 2015 Opened with Aplomb

Pittwater Council to Purchase Avalon Beach Bowling & Recreation Club’s Green 3 - Keeping our Community’s Future 'Fitting' + Front Page Issue 211

Pittwater Uprising Again by ‘Pittwater Scout’ + Front Page Issue 212

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

SHOROC Shenanigans - Amalgamation Ploy to Undermine 'Scale and Capacity'? + Community News Issue 216

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

Save Our Councils Coalition Launched – State MP’s Join their the Ranks Against Forced Amalgamations from SOCC 

Front Page Issue 218 

Community News Archives - June 2015

Pittwater Declares Autonomy: FFTF IPART Required Documents Lodged

NO Amalgamation Chant Becomes Louder in Pittwater: Rally at Local MP's Office + Front Page Issue 234

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 

FFTF Facilitators Found Faulty: 'No Amalgamation' Chant Continues: + Front Page Issue 238  

A Greater Pittwater Option Discussed at Public Meeting on Proposed Council Amalgamations: Some Attendees Suggest A Statewide Referendum  

Two Council Model Option Preferred to Mega Council Pittwater and Manly Mayors Announce: Mosman Stands Firm

Pittwater Prefers to Remain Pittwater: Greater Pittwater Option Forwarded as Second Preference: Cr. Hegarty's Address at Council Meeting of November 16, 2015

NSW Government Announces Amalgamation Proposal Plans: Reactions and What's Next in Process - 2016

Having Your Say on Local Government and Council Proposals: Written Submissions and Public Inquiry at Mona Vale Feb. 2nd, 2016  

Community News February 2016VOICES of PITTWATER - community leaders on amalgamation

Pittwater Residents Urged to Have Their Say on Proposed Council Changes - Passionate residents speak out at Public Inquiry Meetings

Pittwater's Future Down to A Numbers Game? Warringah Council's Bid to Have it ALL Revives New/Old One Council Proposal - Community News March 2016  

Pittwater Asked to Have Its Say On Council Amalgamations AGAIN 

Pittwater Residents Reject Mega Council Proposal at Public Inquiry Meetings - Written Submissions To Close on April 8th

Front Page Issue 257  Community Have Their Say on Proposed Amalgamation

Front Page Issue 258Community Have Their Say on Proposed Amalgamation

Front Page Issue 259: Community Voices on Amalgamation

Front Page Issue 260 - Pittwater Councillors Passed Motion to Commence Legal Proceedings Against Forced Amalgamation Overturned Due to 'No Substance' to Grounds Raised

Pittwater is STILL Pittwater: Residents - Sacked Councillors Discuss Options: Legal action and second Secession to begin discussed

Mona Vale Place Plan: Have You Say By November 13, 2016 - community dismayed at draft slating six storey buildings for Mona Vale

Mona Vale Place Plan Meeting Discloses Salient Points And Communitys' Objections

Administrator's Message: draft Mona Vale Place Plan

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

Renewed Calls To Return Pittwater Council To Pittwater By Pittwater People in Wake of Recent Retirement Announcements: Issue 298

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

Save Mona Vale Park Protest against B-Line Destruction of The Village Green space reignites calls for Protection of Pittwater

Resident Birds Baffled By B-Line Sleight Of Hand: Where Did All Our Trees Go?

Forced Amalgamations Hit "Procedural Fairness" Snag That May Bring Every Imposed Merger Completely Undone

'Don't Be Developed Out Of Pittwater' Rally At Mona Vale's Memorial Hall: Motion to Fight to Restore Pittwater Council Passed Unanimously

Protect Pittwater Community Forum7 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?

One Year On: Amalgamation STILL RejectedMay 2017 Issue 312 + Front Page Issue 312

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

Huge Response To Pittwater Crowd-Funding Campaign To Reinstate Pittwater and Demerge + Front Page Issue 315 

Protect Pittwater Campaign Grows and Prepares to Join Careel Bay Marina Winter Festival Next Weekend by Miranda Korzy +Front Page Issue 316  

Careel Bay Marina Winter Festival 2017: + Community News Issue 317

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 

Protect Pittwater Community Backed Group Engages Lawyers For Action On Council Restoration

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 

Pittwater Locals Disappointed by Delay in Plebiscite Bill

Residents Should Not Fear Demerger Costs - visiting Greens MLC states - de-amalgamation bill to be debated again in September, petition calling on the state government to reconstitute Pittwater Council within its former boundaries, President of Protect Pittwater Bob Grace states this community group is seeking further legal advice and 'the fact that we seceded 20-odd years ago has some significance'

Fight for Pittwater Continues as Voters Go to the Polls from Protect Pittwater Community Group

Warriewood Proposal A Taste Of Things To Come: Greens State

Local Government Election Results Show Very High Informal Vote Rate

Community Groups Input Seemingly Ignored In B-Line Consultations

Newport B-Line Update October 2017: Roundabout proposed for Neptune/ Barrenjoey roads - Newport Residents Association is holding a Community Rally around these issues on Sunday October 22nd at 12.30 p.m. at Newport Surf Club - all welcome. Transport for NSW is holding drop in sessions so you may ask questions and provide feedback - dates, times and places in page

Northern Beaches State MPs Vote Against Democracy: Local Government Amendment (Amalgamation Referendums) Bill 2017

Greater Sydney Commission releases the Revised draft North District Plan 2017 for feedback: Mona Vale prioritised for Urban activation 

B-Line Rally Calls For A Common Sense Approach To A Potential Problem

Newport's Bushlink 'From The Crown To The Sea' Paths: Celebrating Over 20 Years Of Community Volunteer Bushcare Results: The pathways wend through the Crown of Newport Reserve, Porter’s Reserve, Attunga Reserve and the Kanimbla Reserve.Includes link to March 2016 Amended Draft of 'North Ward' by NSW Government 'Planner'.

B-Line Services Reaches Its Day One: Wait And See If Modifications May Be Needed - November 26, 2017

B-Line Two Weeks On: Feedback Being Monitored - Newport Residents Update

LGNSW Conference 2017: Overview - Labor Councillors win President, Treasurer and Vice Presidencies, Motions carried: against the State Government takeover of planning powers through IHAP legislation + the requirement that where an amalgamation with one or more councils is proposed there be a binding referendum in each council area asking voters if they want their council to be amalgamated or not. Not discussed: Transfer plan making provisions in SEPP 19 to a Ministerial Direction: Urban Bushland

Community News Issue 342: December 2017

Palm Beach Walkway and Landscape Plans Misses A Few Consult, Coastal Study and Historic Storm Marks - Boardwalk Wipeout

Pasadena On Pittwater Update: January 2018 - "PASADENA Waterside Boutique Hotel & Restaurant" set to open in March: Pronouncements made under 'Administration' falls on deaf ears

Protect Pittwater January Update: Have Briefed New Senior Counsel  + Jason Falinski MP For Mackellar Calls On Created Council To Pause On Headlong Overdevelopment  + Phil Jenkyn OAM Addresses His Local State MP; The Minister For Planning

Tumbarumba Delivers Valentine’s Day Divorce Proposal To State Government: Pittwater locals joined a rally this week supporting Tumbarumba residents who came to the big smoke to deliver a proposal to the NSW Government demanding a council demerger

Draft Code Of Meeting Practice Now On Exhibition For Feedback - Amendment To Retain Public Forum By Councillor De Luca, Seconded By Councillor Ferguson, Means Vox Populi To Persist At Present - Protect Pittwater Member Speaks at Public Forum to retain same

Community News May 2018: Protect Pittwater Forum at Pittwater RSL announcement