This is a quick post. I’ll come back later tonight with an updated map showing the new councils and their partisan breakdown, along similar lines to this post from December.
Some quick points about what has happened.
- 19 new councils have been created, with the pre-existing councils in this area having been abolished as of today.
- All nineteen new councils have had administrators appointed. Elections for these councils, along with other councils which have been considered for amalgamation, are delayed until September 2017. This leaves those amalgamated councils without elected representation for sixteen months.
- The minister has also “agreed in principle” to nine other council amalgamations, but hasn’t acted on those proposals due to pending legal challenges.
- Details about the new councils are available at this website.
- No decision has been made about three council amalgamation proposals, including the two Hunter proposals. Interestingly, a new Armidale council has been formed out of two councils, while a broader proposal on creating a larger Armidale council out of four existing councils (including two abolished today) has not yet been resolved.
- Most of today’s decisions aligned with the original proposals, except on the North Shore and Northern Beaches. Mosman has been included in a proposed new council with North Sydney and Willoughby, instead of joining a greater Manly council, while Manly, Warringah and Pittwater have been merged into a single Northern Beaches council. The original proposal would have seen Warringah split in half and the pieces given to Manly and Pittwater.
- A bunch of amalgamation proposals have not proceeded, including:
- Kiama and Shoalhaven
- Hawkesbury and the Hills
- Tamworth and Walcha
- The number of councillors and wards for each new council has already been proclaimed.
- Where wards will be created, those ward boundaries have already been released, and they can be downloaded from the new council’s page on the Stronger Councils website.
- It appears that all of the urban councils have wards, and all of the rural councils have no wards.
- All warded councils will have five wards of three councils, and a mayor elected by the councillors.
- Despite the government expressing support for directly elected mayors in the past, a number of councils with directly elected mayors have been merged into councils without a directly elected mayor, including Canterbury, Manly, Hornsby and (if the minister goes through with further amalgamations) North Sydney and Willoughby.
That’s it for now. I’ll return later with a new map of the state, showing each council and its political bent.