What does the NSW government want from us?
The NSW Government requires all councils in NSW to respond to the Government's Fit for the Future program by 30 June 2015.
Under this program, the Government wants Randwick Council to show that we can meet their scale and capacity (i.e. population size) requirements. The Government has not indicated what population size they want, but they said councils should use the recommendations of the Independent Local Government Review Panel as a starting point.
For Randwick Council, the Review Panel recommended merging with City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra and Botany councils to create a global city of more than 500,000 residents. The Government has said that Randwick Council does not have to adopt the exact recommendations of the Review Panel, but that any proposal must be 'broadly consistent' with their recommendation.
What is Randwick City Council’s position?
Randwick City Council has resolved to oppose amalgamations. You can read Council's recent resolutions on our website.
don’t support the creation of a global city as we value our eastern suburbs
identity, local representation and existing quality services and facilities.
Council has also resolved to undertake due diligence and community consultation in order to respond to the government's Fit for the Future program.
Why is Council undertaking these community consultations?
Randwick City Council wants to understand what the community wants for their future. Your views are important and will help shape Council's decision.
The NSW Government's Fit for the Future program requires councils to undertake extensive community consultation with their local residers and ratepayers prior to formulating a proposal. Council's consultation program is consistent with the State Government's requirements.
What is the minimum size for the new Council areas?
The Government has not given a minimum population number for new councils. However we estimate the number is likely to be in the order of 200,000 - 250,000 residents. This is based on the Fit for the Future program which provides financial incentives for councils who amalgamate to create new councils of this size. Also the few councils that the Independent Local Government Review Panel recommended to stand alone all have population sizes of more than 200,000 residents with future growth potential.
How did Council come up with the seven options?
The seven options range from Randwick standing alone to the Independent Local Government Review Panel's preferred option of a global city and five options inbetween that may be considered 'broadly consistent'.
When will amalgamations happen?
The Government has not expressly indicated that amalgamations will happen, but they have strongly indicated they are likely to happen.
The Government has given all councils until 30 June 2015 to submit proposals to be Fit for the Future.
The Government has indicated that Transitional Committees will be established in October 2015 to oversee the establishment of new councils areas in time for the September 2016 local government elections.
What will happen to Randwick Council staff with amalgamations?
Staff jobs are not at risk.
Will amalgamations result in a rates rise?
Randwick City Council has commissioned an independent report which found different models for an eastern suburbs council would produce substantial cost savings over a 10-year period after paying off all debt, bringing all assets up to a satisfactory condition and without reducing services or increasing rates. This modelling has not been done on the global city option because of diseconomies of scale due to
different communities of interest.
Will amalgamations result in reduced services?
Randwick City Council has commissioned an independent report which found different models for an eastern suburbs council would produce substantial cost savings over a 10-year period after paying off all debt, bringing all assets up to a satisfactory condition and without reducing services or increasing rates. This modelling has not been done on the global city option because of diseconomies of scale due to different communities of interest.
Is there any update since the Information Pack (February edition) was printed?
Woollahra Muncipal Council advised on 2 February 2015 that material errors were found in their infrastructure assets special schedule 7. As a consequence Woollahra advise their infrastructure backlog is now $5.4M and not $15M as printed in Randwick Council's Information Pack (February edition). This saving will flow on to increase 'projected savings over 10 years' figure by $9.6M as modelled for options 4,5 and 6. For more information see Woollahra Council's website.