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Super Council Lacks People Power

By Duncan Horscroft on December 4, 2015 in News



When is Waverley Council going to come clean about the real reason behind the amalgamation of local councils under the NSW Government ‘Fit for the Future’ reform program aimed at councils that supposedly cannot stand alone?

It seems a done deal between Waverley and Randwick, while Woollahra Council is adamant it wants no part of a so-called ‘Global City’ conglomerate and is quite capable of standing on its own two feet.

Word on the street is it is a plot by the Liberal Government to gain control of more than 500,000 people in and around Sydney, and eventually eliminate the need for councillors, instead appointing administrators to oversee the operations.

While Woollahra has made a firm stand against amalgamation with more than 80 per cent of its residents agreeing to stand alone, Waverley Council doesn’t seem the least bit interested in what its residents think.

An electronic telephone survey reached only 600 residents within the Waverley municipality, which is around 10 per cent of the population, and some residents reportedly received literature in their letterboxes – though many received nothing at all!

The question has also been raised as to who will have the governing power over this new ‘Super Council’.

There is some strong mail that current Waverley Mayor Sally Betts is being fitted out for a cape and will turn into Super Sally, ready to leap from tall buildings when the new administration centre is built in Bondi Junction, following the council’s sell-off of Spotlight and OfficeWorks in Ebley Street.

A lot of councils need a good clean up, but surely this can be done in a stand-alone situation without taking away the local identity the community has enjoyed within the various municipalities.

With parking revenue reaching around $12 million a year, combined with all the other costs residents must endure for the privilege of living in Waverley, it’s time someone owned up to the real reason we have to join forces to survive.

Woollahra has proved that people power can make a difference and that a democratic system must be put in place for everyone to have a say.
All of their councillors stand united in wanting to keep Woollahra’s local identity and they listened to the voice of the residents when they voted unanimously against amalgamation.

Maybe it’s time Waverley Council spent a bit more time listening to the residents instead of bickering among themselves and having to put up with a “what we say, goes” edict from the Liberals.

Then, and only then, will they truly be a super council.