Boundaries CommissionOn 4 June 1999, the former Minister for Local Government, the Hon Harry Woods MP, wrote to councils outlining the legislative changes proposed to allow deferral of elections, and inviting them to submit advice that they intend to prepare joint proposals for voluntary amalgamation by 30 June 1999.
The Minister received 8 initial proposals from 24 councils, and deferred their September 1999 elections until early 2000 to allow them to focus on the merger process. The councils concerned were:
On 3 July 2003, the Minister for Local Government, the Hon Tony Kelly MLC, wrote to all NSW councils calling on them to review their position and to consider how they may more effectively and efficiently deliver local government services and facilities to local communities and to submit their proposals by 31 August 2003.
There is considerable discussion and debate on reform occurring across the State and the majority of councils have now lodged proposals. The Minister will consider the size and scope of the response and determine the most appropriate course forward.
Proposals may be referred to the Local Government Boundaries Commission for examination and report immediately, or the Minister may request that the Division of Local Government engage an independent facilitator to commence a regional review process as a first step. A regional review process would consult on the council proposals submitted affecting a region, and develop a suitable reform proposal for referral to the Boundaries Commission for examination and report.
The approach taken in each part of the State will be largely dependent on the level of viability and consensus around the proposals submitted.
As part of the examination and reporting process, members of the public are given the opportunity to comment on any proposals referred to the Boundaries Commission.