Pittwater Residents Mark Second Amalgamation Anniversary With Delivery Of Demerger Proposal
Protect Pittwater members Miranda Korzy, Pip Rey, David Wenden, Bob Grace and Lynne Czinner. Photo supplied.
Pittwater Residents Mark Second Amalgamation Anniversary with Delivery of Demerger Proposal
Pittwater residents will mark the second anniversary of their council’s amalgamation by delivering an official demerger proposal to the NSW government next week.
Former NSW Premier Mike Baird announced 19 council mergers on May 12, 2016, including that of Pittwater, Warringah and Manly councils into a single Northern Beaches Council.
Protect Pittwater Association president Bob Grace said the group would mark the occasion by presenting its official demerger proposal to the NSW government on the first sitting day of Parliament following the anniversary.
The group has hired a bus to transport supporters - wearing turquoise “Splittwater” T-shirts - to the city.
“We’re going on the ‘people’s bus’ to Parliament House to request the government demerge Pittwater from Northern Beaches Council immediately,” Mr Grace said.
“We will not let the government forget its betrayal of the people when it broke its promise of ‘no forced amalgamations’ on May 12, 2016.
“Residents will present the proposal to NSW Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton on Tuesday after months collecting signatures to support it.”
Mr Grace is a former Pittwater councillor of 20 years standing. Prior to Pittwater’s separation from Warringah in 1992, he sat on Warringah council.
The amalgamation was opposed by 89 per cent of Pittwater residents, and reduced their representation from a standalone council of nine to three Pittwater councillors on a local government of 15.
The proposal, initiated under the Local Government Act, calls for Pittwater Council to be re-instated within its original boundaries.
The legislation requires only 250 signatures to spark an inquiry into the merger, although the group has more than 2,000.
“Northern Beaches Council is a bureaucratic nightmare. It’s not working and getting worse,” Mr Grace said.
Analysis of the amalgamated council’s finances by Save Our Councils President Brian Halstead shows a shortfall of $55 million over five years.
Mr Halstead, an accountant and retired company executive, said the amalgamation proposal for Northern Beaches Council anticipated a surplus of $108.6 million for the five years to 2022.
However, the proposed budget for 2018-2019 indicated a surplus of only $53.5 million over five years, and for the current year, $8.9 million compared to the proposal’s estimate of $16.1 million, Mr Halstead said.
“Northern Beaches Council is clearly failing to deliver,” Mr Halstead said.
“The community has been greatly misled on the savings and now deserves a chance to have its say on de-amalgamation.”
Residents will also present a statement to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday containing a motion passed at a community forum last week calling for her to demerge the councils.
Mr Grace called on all Pittwater residents to join the rally at Macquarie Street, in the city, outside Parliament House, next Tuesday May 15, from 1pm to 2pm.
Those wanting to travel on the “people’s bus” should contact 0439 788 867 to book a seat and meet at Newport Beach car park at 10.45am for an 11am departure on Tuesday.
From Protect Pittwater Association
Details of the trip are as follows:
Date: Tuesday May 15
Meeting place: Newport Beach car park
Time: 10.45am for 11am departure.
If you have anything turquoise - like the old Pittwater colour - please consider wearing it for the day. We also have turquoise T-shirts made up that we'll hand out in Newport before we leave to wear over clothes of other colours.
We’ll disembark outside Parliament House in time for the rally from 1 to 2pm.
After the rally, a small contingent will take the proposal into the Local Government Minister's office and everyone else will re-board the bus for Newport (so that the less fit amongst us don't have to stand for too long.)
You don't need to bring anything special but it might be worth packing a light lunch and something to drink. We're making some placards and a banner with a turquoise background. If you feel like making one of your own please bring it along.
To book a seat on the bus please call 0439 788 867.
For anyone working in the city on Tuesday, it would be great if you could join us during lunchtime for the rally.
Hope to see you on Tuesday.
Protect Pittwater Association
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