Minister Insults Local Councils In Key Evidence To Parliamentary Inquiry #Greens #CentralCoast #CoastTimes

Media release

17 August 2015

Minister Insults Local Councils In Key Evidence To Parliamentary Inquiry

Minister Insults Local Councils In Key Evidence To Parliamentary Inquiry #Greens #CentralCoast #CoastTimes

David Shoebridge, Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for Local Government

The Minister for Local Government has insulted local councils and communities across the state by describing the growing campaign against forced amalgamations as driven by “self-interest”.

In evidence given to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Local Government the Minister was unable to provide evidence to support the “bigger is better” mantra for local government and shed no further light as to whether or not legislation would be introduced to force amalgamations.

The Minister’s evidence came on the back of reports over the weekend that the government would be considering a proposal to sack all NSW councils and mayors in order to fast track its forced amalgamation agenda.

Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for Local Government David Shoebridge said: “The Local Government Minister has today insulted councils and communities across the state by accusing them of “self-interest” in their campaign to protect local democracy.”

The Local Government Minister Has Taken To Insulting Local Councils

“Rather than producing credible evidence to support the government’s forced amalgamation agenda, the Local Government Minister has taken to insulting local councils,” said Mr Shoebridge.

“The Minister has again refused to rule out forced amalgamations despite no credible evidence, community support or parliamentary majority to achieve it.

“The Minister’s evidence to the committee was simply that ‘bigger is better for local government’.

“When the Minister was asked did he know that Blacktown, the Council with the state’s largest population of 312,479, was in deficit he simply looked confused.

“Confusion and arrogance are a potent mix that is undermining confidence in the Coalition’s Fit for the Future agenda for local government.

“This is a Local Government Minister continuing to persist with an undemocratic forced amalgamation agenda despite having no plan or support to achieve it.

“The Greens will continue to support local communities having the right to decide the size and future of their local councils,” Mr Shoebridge said.

END

CONTACT:

David Shoebridge

Greens MP in the NSW Legislative Council

P: (02) 9230 3030

Twitter: @ShoebridgeMLC

SIGN UP TO STAY IN TOUCH at davidshoebridge.org.au/sign-up

NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street Sydney NSW, 2000 Australia