The proposed amalgamation of 40 NSW councils has generated heated opposition. While public resistance has now won out in several regional communities, it's a different story in the city.
If local councils are bigger and councillors represent more residents, it is important that they focus on understanding their communities’ needs and aspirations, rather than on day-to-day operations.
If forced amalgamations proceed, we may well see hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer and ratepayer funds squandered simply because policymakers preferred dogma to empirical evidence.
Wherever governments have merged local councils, they have faced a political backlash. New South Wales is no exception and, nearly four years into the process, many challenges lie ahead.