The State Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman has commissioned an independent review into the NSW Local Government Boundaries Commission – the body that has made recent recommendations on council de-mergers.
In explaining the case for the review, the discussion paper says the Commission’s recent examinations of Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council and Snowy Valleys Council demerger proposals resulted in conflicting outcomes and recommendations
In 2021 it recommended Snowy Valley remain amalgamated and this year it recommended Cootamundra-Gundagai de-merge.
“The diverse findings of the Boundaries Commission and the Minister’s subsequent determinations in 2021 and 2022 indicate that the Boundaries Commission has an ability to provide robust and thorough advice to the Minister,” the discussion paper states.
“Nevertheless, this discussion paper and the review will explore opportunities to improve this process.”
The discussion paper outlines the current composition, function and processes of the Boundaries Commission and invites suggestions for improvement.
Canterbury Bankstown Council has voted to prepare a business case for de-merging and the Inner West Council has recently written up a business case to de-merge.
The Boundaries Commission would look at those business cases and give recommendations to the Minister.
The Review does not seek to review or appeal previous recommendations or examine past decisions of the Minister, the press release says.
The Reviewer, Dr Juliet Lucy, is to review, examine and report to the Minister for Local Government on the composition, functions and processes of the Commission established under the Local Government Act 1993.
The process will include liaising with community, stakeholder groups and local councils.
Anyone, including councils and members of the public, can make submissions.
Submissions are due by 5PM, December 16.
See the discussion paper here: