The awaited ‘Fit for the Future’ report will be considered by Council on Monday. Although short it is fascinating reading.
By itself, Willoughby Council will never meet the ‘Scale’ criteria of 250,000 people. Further,even with an Infrastructure Levy, Council will not meet the Asset Maintenance criteria. In addition, without the requested IPART approved Levy, Council will not meet the Renewal Ration or Infrastructure Backlog criteria.
Within the region, Hunter’s Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde do not support voluntary amalgamation. Instead they wish to look at a Joint Organisation Structure designed for rural (not metropolitan) Councils.
Mosman Council is currently conducting community consultation (one option being canvassed is for regional amalgamation). North Sydney Council is also canvassing the regional amalgamation option.
The Council report has 12 Recommendations. One of the key recommendations is that Willoughby Council enter into discussions with North Sydney Council regarding ‘the prospects of creating a new entity that satisfies the Fit for the Future criteria (although the total population of such an entity would only be 142,000 not the required 250,000).
Council is also proposing to undertake community consultation by telephone survey, the Citizen’s Panel and community meetings. Federation/Progress Assocations need to ensure that they are invited to any community meetings. In the past, some of these community meetings have been ‘closed shop’ with attendees chosen at random.
Key information missing from the report is the Fit for the Future statistics for each of the other Councils in the region. Federation should request these figures.
It can be expected that the deliberations on Monday night might be worth a visit to Council.
The full report is available online.
North Sydney are not really thinking Willoughby is a good look for them and are hoping to team up with Sydney – I am sure Mike Baird will make the right decision.