Council mergers string out NSW elections for four more years


The NSW state government has written to councils laying out the timetable for council elections for those councils which have not yet been amalgamated. This timetable could well see council elections held in every one of the next four years, with the possibility of some new councils not facing election until the next regular council election in 2020.

There are eleven new councils which have been proposed but have not yet been implemented, mostly because of pending court cases. This is in addition to twenty new councils which have already been proclaimed.

The proclaimed councils will have their elections held in September 2017, and the NSW Electoral Commission will be planning to hold elections in September 2017 for those unmerged councils if their mergers haven’t been implemented before the 2017 election.

But for those councils which are amalgamated any later than this month, their election will be postponed until March 2018 or September 2019. The government has even flagged the possibility of elections being postponed until September 2020, when most council elections are due.

Thanks to this announcement and the ongoing legal conflicts, it now appears likely that the newly-created councils will face their first elections gradually over the course of multiple years.

In other council amalgamation news, I had missed the state government’s amalgamation of Rockdale and Botany Bay councils into Bayside council in September. I believe it’s the only council to be amalgamated since the first wave of amalgamations earlier this year.

It’s also quite possibly the most outrageous of all of the new councils.

The two old councils are on either side of Sydney airport, and have very little in the way of community of interest or transport corridors. The absurdity of the boundaries become more obvious when you look at the new ward boundaries. The new Mascot ward stretches across the airport, covering the suburb of Mascot along with the suburbs of Arncliffe, Turella and Wolli Creek.

The Bexley ward also has ridiculous boundaries. The pre-existing boundary between the old Kogarah and Rockdale councils wasn’t the most logical boundary, and it would’ve made sense to erase it by merging Rockdale, Kogarah and Hurstville into a single St George council. But instead that boundary has been kept while inexplicably creating a council which crosses the airport, and it produces a very messed-up ward on that boundary.

In other news, two of the newly-merged councils have already changed their names. Western Plains has reverted to be Dubbo, and the merged Gundagai council has been renamed Cootamundra-Gundagai.

The relevant maps on the maps page have been updated to include the new Bayside wards and these updated council names.

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  1. Agree the Botany/Rockdale amalgamation is crazy. Based on the State Government’s long term planning, that has created a corridor between the city and the airport, the most logical local government amalgamation would have been Sydney/Botany. But with Botany being a strong Labor area such an amalgamation would have made it even harder for the Liberals to win the city back. If I were a betting man I’d put money on Labor changing this amalgamation when they are next in Macquarie Street. Not that they would beat Clover if she was still there but she will need to retire sometime and then the Botany Labor vote could really be decisive. Cheers

  2. This clearly shows a complete lack of understanding when Mike and his mates brought in Forced Local Government Amalgamations.
    We won the By-Election because of this (and other silly things they have and are doing), if this is not reversed before 2019, he won’t have to do it.

  3. Yes, Peter O.
    (And Peter C).

    But I’ve been a civil engineer in Local Govt for 36 years, & thru 3 Amalgamations (most recently making Cumberland Council where this old dinosaur is STILL working).

    As for Orange region, my youngest daughter works @ Arcadia Goldmines, & she says the constant fighting between Blaney Shire & their other Operations in Cabonne Shire make the locals quite annoyed. She says only Orange City can give those rural shires stability when Cadia & the big multinational Owners put their Development Applications in.

    Anyway,….Life’s too Short.


    von Brian.

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