NSW Council amalgamations: Little support south of Waverley Council likely for “audacious” new Eastern Suburbs Council Mayoral bid by Sally Betts – 14th October 2015

“Waverley Councillor Sally Betts faces an uphill struggle to get enough support to be the new Mayor of any amalgamated eastern suburbs Councils if the current Randwick Councillors stick together” says Greens Councillor Murray Matson.

Randwick Town Hall

Will the new Mayor of any amalgamated Eastern Suburbs Council stay representative of the present Randwick Council area?

Councillor Matson described Councillor Betts recent media promotion of herself for the possible future position as “fanciful considering how small Waverley is to Randwick in population and geographical spread.”

He considers that there are more “representative” choices to be found amongst the sitting Randwick Councillors for a future Mayor. He said,

“Randwick Councillors have experienced former Mayors amongst us thanks to the Greens ‘inclusive sharing arrangement’ of 2004. The Mayor’s chosen since then have all worked as a team to maintain stable and careful administration making Randwick now one of NSW’s top Council’s.”

On paper it is difficult to see where Councillor Betts would get the numbers to win the new position if the Randwick Councillors vote as a block. Not only is Randwick bigger in population and geographically coverage but it currently has 15 sitting Councillors to Waverley’s 12.

Councillor Matson said,

“We Randwick Councillors have done everything that we can to make that we stay in the tent making the decisions on behalf of our residents while any merger goes through. And we have done all the real work on behalf of both Councils. Sally won’t be Mayor as long as we 15 Randwick Councillors all agree that the leadership should be representative of the currently biggest eastern suburbs Council in area and population.”

It is unlikely that the Liberal State Government would be motivated to intervene on Liberal Councillor Bett’s behalf. In May the State Government said that it would not impose mayors on merged Councils. The Minister in the upper house representing the Minister for Local Government stated;

“It is a matter for each council to determine how its Mayor is elected. Councils will receive support and assistance from the NSW Government to prepare detailed transition plans. These plans will address the proposed governance arrangements for the new council, including the election of the Mayor.”



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