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Liverpool is in a strong financial position. Liverpool is in a strong financial position. Featured
04 February 2014 Posted by 

Amalgamate or stay the "struggling west" warns review

 THE expansion of the Parramatta and Liverpool local government areas (LGAs) would create high-capacity councils with the scale and resources to play an important role in metropolitan affairs and underpin Sydney’s status as a global city.

This was a finding in Revitalising Local Government, the final report of the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel

The 132-page report recommended the 41 councils in the metropolitan area be reduced to 15 or 18 – along with amalgamations in regional NSW – as a means of local government realising its potential to help achieve the state government’s goal of Making NSW Number One.

The panel noted: “there is also a deepening divide between a privileged east and a struggling west” in the metropolitan area.

The panel said a need existed for the expanded cities of Sydney and Parramatta to anchor metropolitan local government as a centrepiece of governance reform. 

”The history of efforts over the past 40 years to establish Parramatta as Sydney’s second CBD suggests that this goal requires [it] to be under the management of a strong, well-resourced local council,” the panel said.

“There is little doubt that Parramatta’s development has been hindered by the limited scale and narrow boundaries of the current local government area.”

The panel noted also the “low profile” of Parramatta City Council.

“Looking ahead, it will be important to ensure that the centres of both Parramatta and Liverpool are governed by councils with considerably greater capacity and strength in sub- regional leadership than has been the case.”

The option favoured by the panel is a new local government area that includes the whole of Parramatta, Auburn andHolroyd plus parts of The Hills and Hornsby, south of the M2, and roughly the western third of Ryde

The incorporation of part of Ryde would strengthen link between Parramatta and the Global Sydney Corridor – which runs from Macquarie Park through the Sydney CBD to Sydney Airport/Botany Bay – and improve scope for integrated planning around Epping station.

Such an area would control very considerable resources and could undertake integrated planning for both the Parramatta CBD and complementary development in adjoining areas.

Hills Mayor, Michelle Byrne, hit back at recommendations to shift Parramatta City Council’s boundary to the M2.
With regard to Liverpool, the panel offered two options: amalgamate with Fairfield or combine as strong joint organisation with Bankstown, Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly.

“Liverpool Council enjoys a strong financial position and enormous potential for growth and development in its own right,” council CEO, Farooq Portelli, said.

The rationale was the close functional interaction and economic/social links, and the need for a higher-capacity council to manage proposed Liverpool regional centre, which is close to Fairfield boundary.

Fairfield City Council Mayor, Frank Carbone, is against the idea.

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), which represents 10 councils in the region, said many of the recommendations would need further consideration.

“There is no doubt that some of these reforms are controversial and likely to create substantial debate both among councils and in the communities they represent,” said. WSROC president, Clr Tony Hadchiti.

Options for other GWS councils

BANKSTOWN: No change or combine as strong joint organisation (JO) with Liverpool, Fairfield, Camden, Campbelltown, Wollondilly.

Blacktown: No change or combine as a JO with Auburn, Holroyd, Parramatta, part Ryde, The Hills, Hawkesbury, Penrith, Blue Mountains and possible boundary adjustments with The Hills and Hawkesbury to facilitate the NW Growth Centre: 

Blue Mountains: No change or combine as a JO with Auburn, Holroyd, Parramatta, part Ryde, The Hills, Hawkesbury, Penrith, Blacktown.

Camden: No change or combine as a JO with Liverpool, Fairfield, Bankstown, Campbelltown, Wollondilly;

Campbelltown: No change or combine as a JO with Liverpool, Fairfield, Bankstown, Camden, Wollondilly: 

Hawkesbury: No change or combine as a JO with Auburn, Holroyd, Parramatta, part Ryde, The Hills, Blacktown, Penrith, Blue Mountains and possible boundary adjustments with The Hills and Blacktown to facilitate NW Growth Centre and  possible longer term merger with The Hills.

The Hills: No change or combine as a JO with Auburn, Holroyd, Parramatta, part Ryde, Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Penrith, Blue Mountains and boundary with Parramatta shifted to M2 and possible boundary adjustments with Blacktown and Hawkesbury to facilitate NW Growth Centre and possible longer term merger with Hawkesbury.

Penrith: No change or combine as a JO with Auburn, Holroyd, Parramatta, part Ryde, Blacktown, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Blue Mountains.

 



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