Save our Councils

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  1. Race Day Protest Stops Traffic
    By Christine Kelley via Clr. Saville

    This November, on “the day that stops the nation”, traffic on Willoughby Road slowed to view a group of determined Sydney community members, attired in Melbourne Cup finery, outside the Naremburn office of NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian to protest against forced council amalgamations.

    Organised by Save Our Councils Coalition (SOCC) supporter Clr Lynne Saville, the protest included community representatives of Sydney councils: Willoughby, North Sydney, Mosman, Hunters Hill, Holroyd, Strathfield, and Pittwater.

    Amidst anti-amalgamation placards and race-day hats and frocks, accompanied by cries of “No forced amalgamations!”, “Keep councils local!” and “Listen to the people!”, SOCC representatives Robert Wilson (former WCC councillor) and Lorraine Cairnes presented the SOCC pledge to Ms Berejiklian. The essence of the SOCC pledge is to call on politicians to respect their local communities and local councils, not force councils to amalgamate and, where councils mutually agree to amalgamate, for a valid referendum to be conducted.
    Among those campaigning to keep councils local were: Mosman Councillor Tom Sherlock, and Willoughby Councillors Lynne Saville and Wendy Norton.

    “On its 150th anniversary, Willoughby City Council is, like 90% of Sydney councils, financially fit.” said Clr Saville.

    Clr Norton stated that, while some of the larger Sydney councils had been found financially unfit, some small councils were found fit, giving the lie to the government’s assertion that “bigger is better”. She added that a survey of Willoughby residents had indicated a clear first choice not to amalgamate.

    Organisers remarked on a distinct lack of public consultation by NSW government regarding council amalgamations and urged those wishing to keep councils local to contact NSW State Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian and Premier Mike Baird.

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