February 29, 2016
Randwick City Council has lodged its formal submission in response to the NSW Government’s proposed merger of Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils.
Council’s submission addresses each of the factors the Delegate must consider in accordance with the Local Government Act and provides additional comments on the Minister’s merger proposal, including a new name — Eastern Sydney Council.
Randwick Mayor Councillor Noel D’Souza said the proposed merger of Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils is sensible for community and staff
“Throughout the reform process we have maintained the strong view that we are fit and sustainable for the future and our community and Council would prefer to remain as a standalone entity.
“However through the fit for the future process it became clear that no change was not an option and as part of our community consultation we found that if mergers must happen, 90 per cent of people would prefer a smaller eastern suburbs council.
“The proposed merger of Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra protects our way of life, has a strong community of interest and identity and will result in increased services and facilities”, said Mayor D’Souza.
It is anticipated that the proposed merger will result in one of the highest opportunities to deliver extra services for our residents — $235M over 10 years.
“By joining forces with our neighbours Waverley and Woollahra, we will have the opportunity to expand our services to ensure we provide the highest quality service to our residents and community–making the Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Council the world class organisation that our residents deserve,” said Mayor D’Souza.
To ensure ample community representation under a proposed new entity, Council is proposing the implementation of a five-ward structure and an increase in Councillors.
“Dividing the new Council into wards will help maintain an important connection with our communities and will result in elected officials familiar with and responsive to the needs of the residents of the area,” said Mayor D’Souza.
“It is my firm view that NSW Government amend existing legislation to allow for a minimum of 15 with 25 Councillors over a transition period of two terms
(eight years) so that Councillor representation per resident is similar to existing ratios,” said Mayor D’Souza.
In addition, Randwick Council’s submission calls for the removal of existing disruptive boundaries in the Port Botany area, bringing the port key infrastructure assets under the new Eastern Sydney Council ensuring efficient and effective delivery of services and planning.
If approved by the NSW Government, the new council area would be the third largest in Sydney and the 11th largest council in Australia. With a combined Gross Regional Product (GRP) of $15.8B, the Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra merger will be one of the most significant contributors to the NSW economy.
A copy of the merger proposal can be downloaded from www.randwick.nsw.gov.au.