Friday 30 September 2016
In relation to the Proposed Merger of the City of Ryde, Hunters Hill and Lane Cove Councils, Justice Moore of the Land and Environment Court delivered his decision in respect of a number of legal proceedings relating to the Proposed Mergers on Tuesday afternoon, 20 September 2016.
The Court decided that the challenges by Hunters Hill and Lane Cove Councils be rejected and that the proceedings be dismissed.
The Crown, on behalf of the Minister for Local Government gave a commitment to the Court, that no steps would be taken to proclaim the new merged Council, until after midnight Tuesday 27 September 2016.
Last Friday, 23 September 2016, Hunters Hill Council resolved at its extraordinary Council Meeting to lodge an intention to appeal to allow more time to consider their legal advice. Therefore, the proclamation in respect of our Proposed Merger has been deferred.
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 Ryde, Hunter’s Hill and Lane Cove 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.
The City of Ryde’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 Hunter’s Hill and Lane Cove Councils. Our residents strongly supported this approach with 92% of the communities across Ryde, Hunter’s Hill and Lane Cove 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 Ryde, Hunter’s Hill and Lane Cove Councils.
Submissions closed on Sunday 28 February 2016 at 5 pm.
View a copy of the proposed merger map here.
City of Ryde's submission to the Merger Proposal
The submission refers to the Ryde, Lane Cove and Hunter’s Hill Merger Proposal and focus' on the areas that the Delegate will be considering, as listed below:
- the financial advantages or disadvantages to the residents and ratepayers
- the community of interest and geographic cohesion
- the existing historical and traditional values in the existing areas and the impact of change on them
- the attitude of the residents and ratepayers of the areas
- the requirements of the area concerned in relation to elected representation for residents and ratepayers at the local level
- the impact on the ability of the Council to provide adequate, equitable and appropriate services and facilities
- the impact on the employment of the staff
- the desirability (or otherwise) of dividing the resulting area or areas into wards
- the need to ensure that the opinions of each of the diverse communities of the resulting area or areas are effectively represented
- other factors relevant to the provision of efficient and effective local government in the existing and proposed new areas.
The public inquiry is part of the examination and reporting process conducted by the Delegate and provides an opportunity for members of the public to express their opinions on the proposal to the Delegate.
The public inquiry was held on Tuesday 2 February 2016 at the Hunters Hill Sailing Club.