The Baird-Grant Government’s political gerrymander of local government struck a new low today with dozens of councils across the state dismissed and a handful spared to appease their Coalition colleagues ahead of the Federal election.

The sacking of 42 councils to make 19 new mega-councils is purely to advance the interests of the Liberal and National parties.

Today NSW Labor vowed that if elected in 2019 communities will be allowed a democratic process to determine their future and, if they choose to do so, de-merge.

Liberal Premier Mike Baird, Nationals Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Nationals Local Government Minister Paul Toole today blindsided mayors, councillors and local government workers who are unwavering in their opposition to forced amalgamations.

In an effort to defuse forced mergers as a federal election issue in key marginal seats, three merger proposals have been abandoned.

Forty two councils will be dissolved immediately and local government elections delayed until September 2017. This means administrators will be in place for over a year, creating prolonged uncertainty for communities.

Any decision on the future of these councils was not based on the concerns of the communities affected.

Thousands of local council workers now face an uncertain future as job cuts will be inevitable.

Local Government Minister Paul Toole also supports the creation of nine other councils pending legal action, putting another 23 councils on the chopping block.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley MP

 “Elected mayors and councillors have been sacked by the stroke of a pen this morning and replaced by unelected dictators.

“This is the savaging of local democracy in NSW by Mike Baird.

“For the next 16 months across NSW we’ll have handpicked appointees of Mike Baird implementing his policies, with local communities cut out of any decision making.

“Boundaries are being drawn up for the Liberal Party’s electoral interest in the greatest act of boundary rigging since Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s notorious gerrymandering in the 1970s.

“The next Labor Government in New South Wales will allow local communities to determine their future.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Local Government Peter Primrose MLC

“Mayors and councillors found out about losing their jobs today on Twitter. That’s just insulting!

“Liberal Premier Mike Baird and Nationals Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Local Government Minister Paul Toole continue to show absolute contempt for the people of NSW.

“Councils in key federal Coalition marginal seats are the ones being saved but what about everyone else?”