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Last Updated
Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Merger Proposal for Hunter’s Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde Councils

Land and Environment Court Decision

Hunter’s Hill Council has lost its case in the Land and Environment Court fighting the process of a forced merger by the State Government. Hunter’s Hill Council has a week to lodge an appeal. No decision by Council has been made at this point in time. A date for an Extraordinary Meeting of Council has yet to be determined.

How to Have Your Say

The Minister for Local Government, The Hon. Paul Toole MP, formally referred merger proposals to the Chief Executive of the Office of Local government for examination and report under the Local Government Act on 6 January 2016.

The Chief Executive has delegated the examination and reporting function to other people (Delegates). In examining and reporting on merger proposals, Delegates will conduct a public inquiry, call for written submissions, and prepare a report with due regard to factors in section 263(3) of the Act. These factors include financial considerations, communities of interest, elected representation, employment of staff, services and facilities, and the attitude of residents and ratepayers.

The Delegate that has been appointed to undertake the examination of the merger proposal for Hunter’s Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde Councils is Dr Robert Lang.

The report of the Delegate will go to the Minister for Local Government as well as the independent Local Government Boundaries Commission for comment.

Hunter’s Hill Council’s position in respect to the Fit For The Future reform program has been to stand alone and to form a Joint Regional Authority (JRA) with Lane Cove and Ryde Councils. Our residents strongly supported this approach with 92% of the communities across Hunter’s Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde supporting our position as their first or second preference.

However, this is our community’s final opportunity to have a say on the proposed merger of the three Councils and therefore, this is your chance to have your say on the State Government’s proposal to merge Hunter’s Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde Councils.

Submissions close 5pm, Sunday 28 February 2016.

How to Make a Submission

Online

To make your voice heard, simply visit the following State Government website:

Council Boundary Review

Mail

You can send a letter to:
Council Boundary Review
GPO Box 5341
Sydney NSW 2001
Please make sure you add your name, address and contact details.

Public Inquiry

A public inquiry in relation to the proposal will be held under section 263 of the Local Government Act at the following time(s) and venue:

Hunters Hill Sailing Club
Tuesday 2 February 2016
1.00pm – 5.00pm and 7.00pm – 10.00pm

Members of the public who would like to attend are requested to register at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au or by contacting 1300 813 020.

Members of the public who would like to speak at the public inquiry are requested to indicate they wish to do so when they register to attend.

Hunter's Hill/Ryde Community transport are offering a door-to-door service for people who wouldn't otherwise be able to attend. Cost is $5.00 each way, however booking are essential. Contact RHHCT on 98165000 or www.rhhct.org.au

Background

The Minister for Local Government formally referred merger proposals to the Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government for examination and report under the Local Government Act (the Act) on Wednesday 06 January 2016.

The Chief Executive has delegated the examination and reporting function to other people (Delegates). In examining and reporting on merger proposals, Delegates will conduct a public inquiry, call for written submissions, and prepare a report with due regard to the factors in section 263(3) of the Act. The factors in the Act include financial considerations, communities of interest, elected representation, employment of staff, services and facilities, and the attitude of residents and ratepayers.

The reports of the Delegates will go to the Minister for Local Government as well as the independent Local Government Boundaries Commission for comment.

Members of the public can make written submissions and can attend public inquiries.

The Examination and Reporting Process

The process for considering proposals to amalgamate local government areas or alter a local government area boundary is set out in Chapter 9, Part 1, Divisions 2A and 2B, and Chapter 9, Part 3 of the Act. The Minister for Local Government (Minister) has referred proposals to the Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government, who has delegated the examination and reporting function under section 218F of the Act to a number of persons (Delegates).

The Delegates will be responsible for examining and reporting on the proposals in accordance with the Act. Once they have completed their examination, they must prepare a report and provide that report to the Minister and to the independent Boundaries Commission.

The examination and reporting process will include a meeting with the affected Councils, the conduct of a public inquiry and a call for written submissions.

The Boundaries Commission will review the reports of the Delegate and provide its comments to the Minister.

Once the Minister has received reports prepared by the Delegates and the Boundary Commission's comments on those reports, the Minister will make a decision on whether or not to recommend the implementation of each proposal to the Governor of NSW.

The Public Inquiry

Sections 263(2A) and 218F (2) of the Act requires the Delegate to hold a public inquiry (public meeting) into the proposal. Any person may speak at the public inquiry, but may not be represented at the public inquiry by an Australian Lawyer or by a person qualified for admission as an Australian Lawyer, or any person acting for a fee or reward.

Submissions

Written submissions will be one of the most important ways for Delegates to gather information. People who make written submissions are encouraged (but are not required) to focus on the factors listed in section 263(3) of the Act (see below).
Written submissions are now open and will close on Sunday 28 February 2016, 5pm EST and can be submitted either online or by mail.

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