- Local Greens say a commissioned report made available this week proves Randwick City Council is cost effective and does not need to be part any new Sydney wide super Council.

Local Greens say a commissioned report made available this week proves Randwick City Council is cost effective and does not need to be part any new Sydney wide super Council.

28th February 2013

Meanwhile local Councillors across NSW wait to see what new Council boundaries will be recommended by Professor Samson's Local Government Review Panel in April.


Randwick City Councillors have received a report analysing the ability of the four eastern suburb councils of Sydney to deliver services on a cost effective basis.

The analysis comes less than two months prior to expected recommendations by Professor Samson's review panel that one single super council replace all existing councils in the Sydney basin.

Green Councillors are using the Eastern Sydney Local Government Review report by SGS Economics & Planning to argue that Randwick is a cost effective and sustainable NSW Council and thus does not need to be amalgamated into either a super body or with its three neighbour Councils of Botany, Waverley and Woollahra.

Councillor Murray Matson said today,

"Randwick City Council does not actually need to be amalgamated because it is already delivering services to residents on a cost efficient basis as shown by the SGS report.

This positive situation has flowed from the reforms that were initiated during the first Greens mayoralty in 2004. These included the generation of Randwick's first long term financial plan and the recruitment of a new General Manager."

Randwick Council's resolved in November 2012 that it did not want to be amalgamated but that "if Botany Council is to be absorbed into an expanded City of Sydney Council, Randwick, Woollahra and Waverley should be kept as a distinct eastern suburbs council area".

BACKGROUND

In August 2011, Mayors and General Managers across the state meet in Dubbo for Destination 2036. This was an initiative to undertake a reform program and modernise local government, with an emphasis on what the industry will be in 2036.

In early 2012, the state government at the request of the Local Government & Shires Association established the Independent Local Government Review Panel which is chaired By Prof Graham Sansom. The Independent Review Panal will be submitting its next report in April 2013, with the final report anticipated in July/August 2013.

In June 2012, Randwick City Council report GF21/12 discussed the establishment of the Independent Review Panel and resulting from that report, that work be undertaken to address the terms of reference of the Independent Review Panel and fund these works from the 2012/13 budget. Council commissioned consultants SGS Economics to undertake a strategic and financial assessment of potential options for structural change to local government within eastern sydney.

In November 2012, the Independent Review Panel released the report "The Case for Sustainable Change". On page 25 of the report states "A critical element in future metropolitian governance will be the role of the City of Sydney as a 'centrepiece' of the local government system and a vital contributor to Sydney's stature as a global city. The City already manages and funds crucial regional and state precincts and facilities: there may well be a case to expand that role, and in consequence the city's boundaries, especially given it's exceptionally strong revenue base."

In November 2012, Council (report MM99/12) resolved in part the following that "Council affirm the position that Randwick Council not be amalgamated" and in part "if Botany Council is to be absorbed into an expanded City of Sydney Council, Randwick, Woollahra and Waverley should be kept as a distinct eastern suburbs council area".

The Council commissioned report by SGS Economics titled 'Eastern Suburbs Local Government Review' was finalised and presented to the Council's February meeting. It outlines reasons why Randwick Council is sustainable in the long term and has the strategic capacity to deliver outcomes for our community and as such no adjustment of our boundaries.