The Baird Government has pursued the political advantage of the Liberal Party at the expense of public interest by ignoring two years of independent reports to draft new council boundaries across NSW.

The extensive internal Liberal Party pressure forced onto Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole ensured the Sydney-wide council carve up would be determined by politics and not policy. 

The mergers see two new Liberal super councils established around the Parramatta and Sydney CBDs. 

In the West, the merger of Parramatta with parts of Holroyd, Hornsby, The Hills and Olympic Park will establish another Liberal Party council next door to Sydney’s second CBD in Parramatta. 

In the East, the merger of Randwick with Woollahra and Waverly councils will create a new Liberal Party stronghold.

The Government’s focus on political gain has ignored the recommendations of both the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s 2013 Sansom Report and the recently released IPART report.

In the two years since the original Sansom report was released in 2013, councils have been forced to respond to a changing set of criteria for survival.

The final merger boundaries have thrown all criteria out the window.

In Planning Minister Rob Stokes’ local area of Pittwater, the final size of the merged council will be 10,000 less than the official criteria of 150,000 residents set by the government.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Opposition Luke Foley

“This is boundary rigging, plain and simple. Mike Baird is ignoring independent reports to stitch up Liberal super councils.”

“It’s shameless political positioning to create Liberal strongholds surrounding the Parramatta and Sydney CBD. Forget the independent reports – Liberal Party strategists have had the final say on these boundaries.”

“This is the greatest act of boundary rigging in Australian politics since Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland gerrymander in the 1970s.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Local Government Peter Primrose

“There isn’t one word on how these councils will be better run in the future.”

“The Baird Government has taken away the goal posts midway through the match. Councils have been told this is about reform – clearly the Liberal Party had another target in mind.”