Thursday, 14 May 2020

NSW Councils under attack from LNP

Local NSW councils this week faced an LNP attack as they attempted to force new legislation that would have undermined our local democracy and introduced financial austerity.

According to Local Government NSW President Linda Scott, "the Government used yesterday’s one-day return of Parliament to unsuccessfully try to force through legislation that would have allowed Ministers to:

  • Dictate the type of infrastructure built in local government areas;
  • Place a cap on the maximum amount of income a council may earn;
  • Dictate when and how councils collect and spend infrastructure contributions by local developers, with no sunset provision.
Cr Scott said, "Councils and communities welcome that the autonomy of local governments, the most trusted level of government, has been upheld by the NSW Parliament."

"Communities were rightly angry when they learnt the NSW Government, in the midst of a global pandemic, was seeking to grab power from democratically elected councils in order to mandate we stop infrastructure projects, kill local jobs and freeze councils’ income and employment opportunities."

Questions need to be asked of our local member Gurmesh Singh MP why the LNP want to dictate "when" and "how" councils collect and spend infrastructure contributions; dictate infrastructure types allowed; and control council income.

This power grab for our local democratic institutions needs a full explanation why interfering in local governance is appropriate and Coffs Harbour Greens urge our community to contact his office

Dictating to local institutions boarders on authoritarianism and isn't the first time the LNP have attacked NSW councils. In 2015, the LNP forced 40 councils to merge together under the then premier Mike Baird. 

The State Government in 2017-18 ran a strong budget surplus of $4.2B which should lead to greater economic benefits for NSW communities. So why continue to attack local councils?

Read the full media release from Local Government NSW here!