Council's Position

over 1 year ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Our Position

Hawkesbury City Council remains opposed to any boundary changes or merger proposals.

Community Feedback

Results of Council’s Merger Survey indicate a strong sense of community and support Council’s decision to stand-alone.

Do you agree with the proposal of The Hills Shire Council to merge with Hawkesbury City Council?

  • 77.7% oppose a merger with The Hills
  • 15. 8% agree with a merger with The Hills
  • 6.5% remained undecided about the issue

Which local Government area does Hawkesbury have more in common with?

  • 69.8 Neither – the Hawkesbury is unique
  • 23% Penrith and the Blue Mountains
  • 7.2% The Hills

Financial issues

Council's evaluation of the financial benefits and impacts of the merger proposal indicates that:

  • The merger proposal is based on a standard set of assumptions. The proposal has not adequately considered the specific financial requirements and operating characteristics of the Hawkesbury Local Government Area which has a combination of metropolitan and rural features.

  • The net financial benefits flowing from the merger proposal are modest at best with an average annual net saving of between $815,547 and $646,510 per year or between $12.45 and $9.86 a person.

  • The benefits are far outweighed by adverse economic impact of the merger on the local economy ranging from $8.3M to $81.3M per year.

  • The merger proposal alone is unlikely to generate a sufficient financial return to provide new infrastructure and improve services or prevent the need for future rate increases.

  • The merger proposal, by itself, is unlikely to improve Council's overall operating performance or fund the current gap between what Council requires to fund the maintenance and renewal of its assets and what it currently spends on these assets.

  • Council believes the merger proposal will not deliver a better financial outcome than its Fit For The Future Proposal to 'stand-alone'. Council's Fit for the Future proposal will deliver a secure future and maintain the identity of the Hawkesbury community.

An analysis of the proposed merger published by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal calculated that the merger of Hawkesbury and The Hills would deliver the smallest financial benefit of any of the proposed metropolitan mergers.

Australian and international evidence on council amalgamations indicates projected net savings may not be likely to be achieved.

Representation

A merged Council would be unlikely to have more than three representatives for the Hawkesbury area with no guarantee they would live locally.

To make a submission

Written submissions can be made either online at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/

hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils/

or by mail to:

Council Boundary Review Submissions

GPO Box 5341

SYDNEY NSW 2001

Submissions will be accepted up until 5pm Sunday, 28 February 2016.


Consultation has concluded