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Fit for the Future

How does this affect the Ryde LGA?  -  What is Council’s position?  -  What options are available?   -  Videos  -  Latest News  -  Residents say No  -  More Information  -  Council Reports

Find out more about the Merger Proposal and View our Submission


The IPART report includes errors of fact and logic and does not adequately assess the JRA option as submitted by City of Ryde, Hunters Hill and Lane Cove Councils. Firstly, the IPART report assesses the 'scale and capacity' of the JRA with the proposed merged entity solely based on financial criteria, i.e. that it is projected to deliver fewer savings. The projected financial outcome is not the correct measure of the 10 elements of scale and capacity. Further, the financial outcome is of little relevance given that the individual councils met every other criteria considered by IPART, including financial sustainability. Page 239 of the IPART Report states “It (JRA) would generate net benefits over 15 years of $0.5m.... The proposal does not fully quantify any efficiency savings that may also eventuate under the JRA." The Councils' submission states savings of more than $500,000 would be achieved from the JRA accelerating more efficient urban development and infrastructure provisioning - plus potential savings of at least $2M p.a. from shared services (refer Joint Submission Pg 38). This forecast is deliberately conservative and dramatically understates the realistic savings available through the scaling up of a range of suitable services. This error is compounded, as the IPART report also compares an NPV calculation, “$0.5M” with a cumulative figure of $187M over a 20 year period, which is not a consistent or logical comparison. It also illogically compares the savings of the three councils in the JRA with the proposed six council merged entity as proposed by the ILGRP. The errors quoted above are only a sample of those contained within the IPART Report. The IPART Report lacks credibility and Council does not accept that the JRA option was properly assessed or given due consideration by IPART.

view our '50 word' fit for the future response to the state government
The City of Ryde is financially fit and sustainable, and has capacity and size for effective local government.
It supports the JRA model for regional cooperation, as endorsed by the NSW Legislative Council.
Council has the strong support of its local community and rejects the need to merge with any council.

Fit for the Future – NSW Local Government Reform

Last year, the State Government announced a major local government reform program – Fit for the Future – that will impact the way all NSW councils operate. The program proposes to merge 41 Sydney metropolitan councils into 18 ‘mega-councils’ and was created as a response to the findings in the Independent Local Government Review Report.

How does this affect the Ryde Local Government Area?

The Fit for the Future proposal for the City of Ryde was a drastic one. It would have seen Ryde and the community split and dissolved between two new, mega-councils. This extreme proposal (no other Sydney metropolitan council was proposed to be abolished), completely disregards our proud history, unique identity and strong financial performance. 

  • One-third of Ryde (approx. 35,000 residents and ratepayers) was proposed to merge with Parramatta, Auburn, Holroyd Councils. This would have seen a population of around 350,000 people - 3 times greater than the current City of Ryde.
  • Two-thirds of Ryde's area to the east (approx. 75,000 residents and ratepayers) was proposed to merge with Hunters Hill, Lane Cove, Mosman, Willoughby, and North Sydney Councils to create a population of 365,000 people.

What is Council’s position?

In February 2015, Council again voted unanimously to reject the disintegration of the City of Ryde, and endorsed the exploration of an alternative model.

This alternative proposal would investigate the formation of a joint ‘regional’ organisation of neighbouring councils of Hunters Hill and Lane Cove. This regional alignment would see the City of Ryde not only retain its identity, voice and history, but partner with neighbouring councils to our east in a way that meets the State Government’s criteria of scale and strategic capability and demonstrate that both the City of Ryde and the region under this model are sustainable and Fit for the Future. 

Joint Submission to IPART

Council puts forward superior alternative to IPART joining forces with Lane Cove and Hunter's Hill Councils

Council, having previously endorsed the exploration of an alternative model for its ‘Fit for the Future’ submission, has collaborated with Hunter’s Hill and Lane Cove Councils to develop a proposal for a Joint Regional Authority model (JRA). The proposed model addresses the NSW Government’s Fit for Future proposal by way of providing “a Superior Alternative” for consideration.

The JRA proposes to centralise key functions across the three council areas, including strategic subregional planning, procurement, infrastructure delivery and other services where economies of scale exist. Under this option each Council and its community retains their unique local identity and, most importantly the City of Ryde would not be split.

View the submission below or click here to download a copy(PDF, 6MB).

What are the options available to the City of Ryde

The Independent Local Government Review Panel has made it clear that Councils need to address the scale and capacity targets set out in the Fit for the Future program.

The City of Ryde, Hunter’s Hill and Lane Cove Councils have worked together to provide a superior option that addresses the issues raised by the community.

Each Council sought feedback from the community on each of the three options available to them. This formed part of the Council’s Fit for the Future response to the State Government.

The table below summarises the three options available to the City of Ryde, Hunter’s Hill and Lane Cove Councils that is detailed in the information pack.  

Fit for the Future - Options Table


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Latest News

Listen to the broadcast from 2RRR Studios - Radio Active interview with the Mayor of City of Ryde and the Mayor of Hunters Hill Council. 


The Parliamentary Inquiry into Local Government in NSW, General Purpose Standing Committee Number 6, released its report which strongly supported City of Ryde, Hunters Hill and Lane Cove Councils proposed Joint Regional Authority (JRA).

Recommendations 16 and 17 of the report stated: “that the NSW Government make Joint Organisations available to all Councils in New South Wales” and,

“That the NSW Government work with local government on a statutory model for Joint Organisations based on the Hunters Hill, Ryde and Lane Cove Council model as a cooperative and consensus model for local council reform in Metropolitan Sydney”.


Residents Say No

Online Survey Pie.jpg
Online Survey

In a recent online survey, the community was asked if they support the State Government’s ‘Fit for Future’ proposal which would see Ryde split and merged into two other mega Councils. Out of 1,175 residents who have registered their vote, here are the results (as at 13 May 2015):

Random Phone Survey

A phone survey was conducted between 23 -27 March 2015 whereby residents were called at random and asked how supportive are you of the City of Ryde standing alone and exploring with other councils regional efficiencies? 
Of the 450 ratepayers and non ratepayers, here are the results:

Phone Survey Graph

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    More Information

    Council Reports

    Council Meeting - 9 June 2015 | Item 4 - Fit for the Future Joint Submission

    Council Report - Fit for the Future - Joint Submission from the Councils of Hunters Hill Lane Cove and City of Ryde(PDF, 629KB)

    Council Meeting - 12 May 2015 | Item 6 - Fit for the Future - Update

    Council Report - Fit for the Future - Update Supplementary Report(PDF, 5MB)

    Last updated on 29 February 2016