Why has the State Government decided that Marrickville is not 'fit' to stand alone?
The State Government wants to reduce the number of councils across NSW through a program called Fit for the Future. Most NSW councils had to submit a business case to the State Government to show that they were ‘fit for the future’. Marrickville met all seven measures of financial sustainability and efficiency. But the State Government found that Marrickville Council is not fit to stand alone because - like most Sydney councils - it failed the arbitrary ‘scale and capacity’ measure. The state government has not told councils exactly what scale and capacity means but it appears to mean population size – Marrickville is simply not big enough.
Why did Marrickville submit a merger proposal?
At a meeting with Minister for Local Government on Tuesday 10 November, the Minister made a commitment that if Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville submitted a merger preference – and forced amalgamations did proceed – then that merger preference would be accepted. This rules out the State Government forcing any other amalgamation options. The Minister also confirmed that any council who submits a preference will not be sacked or placed under administration.
What's the position of our neighbouring councils?
Ashfield and Leichhardt also resolved to merge with Marrickville as all three councils believe this to be the best option for local communities if the State Government pushes on with forced amalgamations.
City of Sydney and Strathfield Councils have not submitted merger proposals.
Canterbury Council has nominated three alternative preferences - a possible merger with Bankstown or Hurstville or the three St George Councils - Rockdale, Hurstville & Kogarah.
Canada Bay, Burwood and Auburn submitted a merger proposal earlier in the process, which was found to be 'fit' in scale and capacity with a population of 220,000.
How are we seeking the community's opinion?
Community members can have their say online or by posting a feedback form.
We have also commissioned a market research company to undertake a statistically valid, demographically representative phone survey in December 2015.