Articles on council mergers

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A public backlash against council amalgamations appears to have forced the NSW government to shift its position. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Bush democracy wins out but council mergers continue in Sydney

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.
Unless councillors are helped to focus on their representative roles, local democracy’s effectiveness could be in danger. AAP/Darren Pateman

How council mergers and reforms imperil local government democracy

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.
Those opposed to forced municipal mergers have reason to be sceptical of NSW Premier Mike Baird’s promises that it will improve councils’ performance. AAP/Paul Miller

Do mergers make for better councils? The evidence is against ‘bigger is better’ for local government

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.
Almost four years since the process of restructuring local government began, the Baird government faces many challenges in finalising its plans. AAP/Lukas Coch

NSW councils shake-up: is the endgame near?

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.

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