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Old July 29th, 2017, 06:21 PM   #781
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Quote:
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Council/councillors, however, were not above telling staff that if they didn't support the protest they would lose their jobs 'immediately': the loverly & indulged Woollahra Council, for instance.
The only people that would lose their jobs immediately were councillors. I expect all staff were well aware of the job protections that were in place. Senior staff and above were the only roles not protected post amalgamation. Staff protections were extended for staff if their council took up an offer to amalgamate rather than have it forced. I think their positions were to be extended by a year to 4 years. It seems people have some twisted ideas on how this all works. Councillors typically don't interact with general staff anyway.
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Old July 30th, 2017, 02:20 AM   #782
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The unions were able to negotiate up to 5 years with some merged Councils from memory.

With the restructures, obviously the duplication of senior management was removed, or reduced. But there were arrangements where those senior staff who were not the successful candidate under the restructure were offered positions elsewhere. But at the same time, there were a number that resigned and moved on elsewhere.
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Old July 30th, 2017, 11:55 AM   #783
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As long as local plannings are gradually handed over to the Greater Sydney Commission, then the voices of NIMBYism will just be less heard.

GSC does have big influence on urban planning and infrastructure planning. Local councils can just focus on local services like libraries, garbage collection, and shuttle buses. As long as Gladys continues to chip away urban planning work from local councils to GSC, then the long term plans will have a better chance of being implemented.
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Old July 31st, 2017, 10:12 AM   #784
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Quote:
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As long as local plannings are gradually handed over to the Greater Sydney Commission, then the voices of NIMBYism will just be less heard.

GSC does have big influence on urban planning and infrastructure planning. Local councils can just focus on local services like libraries, garbage collection, and shuttle buses. As long as Gladys continues to chip away urban planning work from local councils to GSC, then the long term plans will have a better chance of being implemented.
Funny you say that I saw this article the other day..
The Hills Shire Council to review lot sizes, as residents object to smaller block

https://www.domain.com.au/news/the-h...170725-gxi7dn/

Basically it sounds like Council are reviewing "lot sizes" as residents are up in arms about a compliant subdivision development proposal which was lodged by a developer.

Update (from the article):
The Hills Shire Council passed the notice of motion at Tuesday night’s council meeting and will commence a review of the minimum block size requirements.
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Old August 1st, 2017, 01:57 PM   #785
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What a tragedy. It will be at least a generation before sensible local government reform is brought back onto the agenda. The way they went about it was a disaster from the start. Some of the illogical amalgamation proposals didn't help the cause. In the meantime, we have to suffer the gloating from the incumbent vested interests claiming their victory. If only they could start with a clean sheet and begin the process all over again. Just dreaming.

The only hope is that the smaller councils wanting to maintain their independent status will be heavily scrutinised to assess whether they are viable in the longer term. This particularly applies to Hunters Hill, the smallest council in Sydney.
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Old August 2nd, 2017, 05:09 AM   #786
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As Miliux says, have to hope that the Greater Sydney Commission quietly undermines and erodes the power of the smaller councils until they become an even more obvious and expensive redundancy. Most of the protesters were ageing and will let go of their urge to halt beneficial change one way or another. Have to hope younger folk are more progressive, though I have to admit I find a worrying number of young folk more conservative than me!
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Old August 5th, 2017, 08:20 AM   #787
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More evidence of what is wrong with our current setup of councils.

EXCLUSIVE
AUGUST 5 2017 - 12:15AM

Oh, Canada Bay: Ex-CFMEU boss Andrew Ferguson faces branch stacking claims

Kate McClymont Lisa Visentin

The fractious fight for control of Canada Bay Council in the local government elections has been rocked by allegations of branch stacking, fake addresses and book walking involving controversial former CFMEU boss Andrew Ferguson, leaving Labor's ticket in disarray.

A Fairfax Media investigation has found that a number of Mr Ferguson's supporters inside the Concord branch, where Mr Ferguson is secretary, have enrolled at fictitious addresses or have crammed into the same small units to bolster the former union boss' tilt at local government.

Andrew Ferguson with a placard of Labor's mayoral candidate for Canada Bay Angelo Tsirekas before the preselection meeting on Wednesday. Photo: Nick Moir
Mr Ferguson secured the No.1 spot on the Labor ticket at the preselection meeting on Wednesday night. Adding to Labor's embarrassment, Opposition Leader Luke Foley is a member of the branch.

Mayoral candidate Angelo Tsirekas, who has been relegated to No.2 on the ticket, is now threatening to walk away from the ticket entirely as allegations of electoral irregularities swirl around his running mate.

cont. link

Some years ago I encountered Mr Ferguson at community meetings in Green Square: not a nice man. At that time he was under investigation for 'difficulties' in union matters, if my memory serves me correctly. Seems he can't help himself.
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Old September 11th, 2017, 01:56 AM   #788
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Foley banging on about the council elections. Gladys might be happy they've had this vote, take some momentum out of the protest vote.
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Old September 11th, 2017, 01:59 AM   #789
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Quote:
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As Miliux says, have to hope that the Greater Sydney Commission quietly undermines and erodes the power of the smaller councils until they become an even more obvious and expensive redundancy. Most of the protesters were ageing and will let go of their urge to halt beneficial change one way or another. Have to hope younger folk are more progressive, though I have to admit I find a worrying number of young folk more conservative than me!
I suspect that councils are an easy target to vote against development issues even though the Feds let the migrants in and the States determine real development plans and policies. I keep feeling the Churchillian aphorisms in my head - like "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
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Old September 11th, 2017, 02:53 AM   #790
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Not even 5 minutes sometimes.

And: The louder the opinion the less informed the speaker.

Plus: With apologies to Sam Harris:

Public Opinion is a branch of human ignorance.
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Old September 11th, 2017, 02:38 PM   #791
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You could also say that a lot of the anti-liberal vote in some councils could be because they FAILED to persist with the amalgamation process.
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Old September 16th, 2017, 04:54 AM   #792
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What a schemozzle!


Sydney council results so far

Bayside

Labor majority and will only need the support of one independent.

Burwood

Labor's John Faker returned as mayor.

City of Canada Bay

Labor's Angelo Tserikas elected mayor.

Canterbury-Bankstown

Labor has an outright majority of eight seats with the numbers to appoint the mayor. Labor's Khal Asfour will likely be the council's first mayor.

Cumberland

Labor has a shot winning eight seats and controlling the council. Greg Cummings, former Holroyd mayor, is key contender for the mayoralty.

Georges River

Four independents will hold the balance of power after Labor won six seats and Liberals five seats.

Hornsby

Phillip Ruddock, elected mayor, will lead a council featuring at least two Greens, ending a nine-year dry spell for the minor party in Hornsby.

Hunter's Hill

Independent Mark Bennett narrowly beat Liberal Zac Miles for the mayoralty on preferences. It was the first time the Liberals ran endorsed candidates.

Inner West

Labor and Greens will control the council with five seats each. Labor's Darcy Byrne wants to broker a deal with the Greens or Independents for the mayoralty.

Ku-ring-gai

Council will be a mix of 10 independents, including former mayors Jennifer Anderson and Cheryl Szatow.

Lane Cove

Independents will dominate council with five of nine seats. Andrew Zbik becomes first Labor councillor elected to Lane Cove in 70 years.

Mosman

Carolyn Corrigan, an anti-merger candidate, won the mayoralty and will lead a council of seven independents.

North Sydney

Jilly Gibson returned as mayor. Fight on for remaining spot between independent and a Liberal Democrat candidate.

Northern Beaches

No party will hold a majority. Liberal (five seats) and independent faction (five seats) will have to work with Greens and other independents to run the council.

City of Parramatta

Control of the council is in play after Liberals won six seats, Labor five, Greens one, and three independents.

Randwick

Liberals (four) and Labor (five) will have to form coalitions with Greens (three) and independents (three), after both major parties lost ground.

City of Ryde

Labor and Liberals won four seats each. Labor's Jerome Laxale will be trying to wrangle a deal for mayoralty with two Greens and one independent.

Strathfield

Liberals won three seats, Labor two, and independents two. Mayoralty up for grabs after incumbent Andrew Soulos lost his seat.

The Hills Shire

Liberal mayor Michelle Byrne will lead a council of nine Liberals and three Labor.

Waverley

Labor (likely four seats) will broker a deal with Greens (three seats) for the mayoralty after Liberals lost their majority (five seats).

Willoughby

Gail Giles-Gidney returned as mayor, will lead council comprised of 11 independents and one Greens.

Woollahra

Liberals bucked swing against the party, wining eight of 15 seats. Toni Zeltzer, credited with leading the council's anti-merger fight, is well-placed to win another term as mayor. One Nation member Peter Kelly was also elected.
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Old April 11th, 2019, 01:29 PM   #793
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This is bringing up an old topic, but now that the Coalition has been re-elected in NSW and I realise this is probably wishful thinking, would they revisit the Council amalgamation agenda to tidy up the mess they left when Gladys prematurely abandoned it upon becoming leader?

IMO, there is still unfinished business which has left a dog's breakfast of Local Government administration, which won't be sustainable in the longer term. Sooner or later this or a future government is going to have to confront the issue.

For example, how can small Sydney Councils like Hunters Hill, Strathfield, Woollahra, Lane Cove, North Sydney and Mosman with 14,000 to 50,000 residents justify their continued existence compared with mega councils like Canterbury-Bankstown and Blacktown, both of which have in excess of 300,000 residents? From my observation, the amalgamations which did proceed, such as the Northern Beaches and Inner West, have been a success, although I'm sure that there will be some who beg to differ.

One of the worst amalgamation outcomes was the final washup involving Parramatta, Holroyd, Auburn, Ryde, Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Councils. Instead of following the recommendations of the Independent Local Government Review Panel, they tried to be too smart by half by ignoring the independent recommendations and implementing their own agenda based on political lines.

The Labor oriented areas of Parramatta around Granville were hived off to a new Cumberland Council involving the amalgamation of Holroyd and Auburn, while the more Liberal oriented areas of Auburn around Olympic Park were transferred to Parramatta. Parramatta also took over parts of The Hills and Hornsby south of the M2 Motorway, namely North Rocks, Carlingford and Epping, but we now have the ridiculous situation where North Epping, which is north of the motorway, is completely isolated from Hornsby in which it still remains. It's ludicrous. Another sensible proposal which was to considered by the Minister in a subsequent review, was to transfer that part of Eastwood in Parramatta's territory to Ryde, so that the whole suburb came within Ryde's domain, which made a lot of sense. This was particularly important and remains so because of the standoff between Parramatta and Ryde in addressing flooding issues through the Eastwood Town Centre. The Town Centre is within Ryde's jurisdiction, but the headwaters of Terrys Creek, from which the flooding emanates is in Parramatta's jurisdiction, which appears to be unwilling to contribute to the cost of flood mitigation works. Transferring the whole of Eastwood to Ryde would overcome this standoff.

Hornsby was then disadvantaged because a large chunk of its previous area of Carlingford and half of the Epping Town Centre was transferred to Parramatta, while its anticipated amalgamation with Ku-ring-gai did not proceed. There was subsequently a standoff between Hornsby and Parramatta Councils over the allocation of rate revenue which has subsequently been resolved. This needn't have happened if there had been a more objective and transparent process, instead of politics getting in the way.

I acknowledge that there were genuine concerns in the regional NSW about the amalgamation process, but even there, like in Sydney, it's doubtful if some of the smaller councils are sustainable.
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Old April 14th, 2019, 01:36 PM   #794
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I think we'll need to wait for a Labor government, or a couple of decades before amalgamations are reconsidered, unfortunately. With all the whiners that stopped the amalgamations a couple of years ago, it's noticeable they're generally Liberal voting areas.

And indeed woodies, you make a very good point about the way Parramatta & Cumberland councils were shaped for some good old-fashioned gerrymandering (including the arrangements of wards in Parramatta council), something I noticed when voting for the new council.
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