The General Manager of Willoughby Council has provided the following update:
Status of Council amalgamation
Willoughby City Council continues to deliver while awaiting the outcomes of Mosman and North Sydneys’ consideration of their next steps.
On 20 September 2016, a judgement was handed down from the NSW Land & Environment Court in relation to a number of councils’ challenges to merger proposals; including Mosman and North Sydney’s challenge to the merger with Willoughby.
In essence, most of the grounds were dismissed with the exception of one. The summary judgement states that Justice Moore found ‘defects’ in the reports prepared by the delegates into the proposed mergers of local governments involving Mosman, North Sydney and also Strathfield Councils. Those ‘defects’ related to inadequate consideration of ‘communities of interest’.
Separate to the appeals process, sections of the merger proposal reports will now presumably need to be redone and resubmitted for consideration to the Boundaries Commission and the Minister. The State government has not provided any further information on what this process will entail.
With regard to the appeals process open to Mosman and North Sydney with regard to their proposed merger with Willoughby, North Sydney has lodged an intention to appeal. Mosman has lodged an appeal. A date for directions for Mosman, which will settle the date of the hearing, has been set for 7 December 2016. The date for the hearing and the length of the court process is unknown at this time.
Debra Just – General Manager
WILLOUGHBY CITY COUNCIL