Submissions are now open to make comment on a NSW State Government proposal to merge Hawkesbury City Council with part of The Hills Shire Council.
Make a submission either online at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils/(External link) or by mail to GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001 up until 5pm Sunday, 28 February 2016.
The Minister for Local Government, The Hon Paul Toole MP has advised Council that he has referred a council merger proposal relating to Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council to the Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government for examination and report under the Local Government Act 1993.
The Chief Executive has delegated the function of examining and reporting on the proposal to a delegate, Mr Garry West. Mr West is a former politician who has held many ministerial portfolios including Local Government.
Mr West will prepare a report that considers financial impacts, communities of interest, elected representation, employment of staff, service and facilities, and the attitude of residents and ratepayers. This report will go to the Minister, as well as the independent Local Government Boundaries Commission, which will comment on the report.
Public submissions will be reviewed by the Delegate and used to inform the examination and reporting process.
A decision about the proposed amalgamation is not expected before the middle of 2016.
Mr West will also conduct a public inquiry which will probably take the form of a public meeting however at this stage Council does not have any further information about these arrangements.
Further information on the proposal and how to make a submission can be found at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils/(External link).