You’d have to be a mug not to join

At 12:30 today, the NSW Government by proclamation created 19 new councils. Merger proposals for Kiama and Shoalhaven, Tamworth and Walcha, and Hawkesbury and the Hills are not proceeding. Everything else is happening, or happening pending decisions of courts or alternative proposals being considered.

This is a very, very bad time for employees in the industry not to be represented by a union. This is a very, very bad time for members of ours at councils without a delegate (you can check our website for details of whether you have a delegate) and members at those councils need to get their fingers out and get one ASAP.

As foreshadowed in the email to all members earlier today, at 11:30 the Employment Matters Working Party met at OLG but the business was focused on developments in Parliament House, and to the extent that anything useful could be considered, it was all embargoed until 12:30 when the Premier addressed a media conference.

19 new councils were created effective at 12:30 and such was the pace of this process that no one in OLG can actually tell you how many councils have been severed, or removed entirely, for this to happen.

The Government’s proclamation transfers all staff across to the new council whether they be senior staff and otherwise, appoints an interim general manager, appoints any unsuccessful general manager from the constituent councils as a deputy general manager (note, not interim), appoints a single administrator, protects current wards if they exist etc.

The 29 page proclamation for all those newly constituted councils and the 15 page proclamation affecting the City of Parramatta and Cumberland, and all relevant media releases and other documents are available on www.strongercouncils.nsw.gov.au

Full details of the 75 councils affected by this process follows.

Formation of new councils:

  • Armidale Regional Council (Armidale Duraresq and Guyra)
  • Canterbury-Bankstown Council (Bankstown and Canterbury)
  • Central Coast Council (Gosford and Wyong)
  • City of Parramatta Council (P’matta and part of The Hills, Auburn, Holroyd and Hornsby)
  • Cumberland Council (Auburn and Holroyd)
  • Edward River Council (Conargo and Deniliquin)
  • Federation Council (Corowa and Urana)
  • Georges River Council (Hurstville and Kogarah)
  • Gundagai Council (Cootamundra and Gundagai)
  • Hilltops Council (Boorowa, Harden and Young)
  • Inner West Council (Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville)
  • Mid-Coast Council (Gloucester, Great Lakes and Greater Taree)
  • Murray River Council (Murray and Wakool)
  • Murrumbidgee Council (Jerilderie and Murrumbidgee)
  • Northern Beaches Council (Manly, Pittwater and Warringah)
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (Queanbeyan and Palerang)
  • Snowy Monaro Regional Council (Bombala, Cooma Monaro and Snowy River)
  • Snowy Valleys Council (Tumut and Tumbarumba)
  • Western Plains Regional Council (Dubbo and Wellington)

Subject to the decisions of the courts, in principle support for the following mergers:

  • Botany and Rockdale
  • Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra
  • Bathurst and Oberon
  • Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby
  • Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby
  • Blayney, Cabonne and Orange
  • Shellharbour and Wollongong
  • Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde
  • Burwood, Canada Bay and Strathfield

Amalgamations pending examination and report of alternative proposals:

  • Newcastle and Port Stephens
  • Dungog and Maitland

Mergers not proceeding:

  • Kiama and Shoalhaven
  • Tamworth and Walcha
  • Hawkesbury and The Hills

Hold on tight, it’s going to be quite a ride.

Do the right thing by your workmates

If you want to look after your workmates who could be members of ours but aren’t, forward this and they can use this link http://depa.net.au/why-join/join-now-form.html

Not a member, but would like to be?

You can join depa using this link http://depa.net.au/why-join/join-now-form.html. In addition to the obvious benefits of industrial representation and protection, we always send new members a beautiful depa mug.

What’s next?

Immediate concerns can be addressed on the Government website and we will continue to keep you in touch as things develop.

What is the Employment Matters Working Party?

This is the consultative mechanism established by the Government through the Office of Local Government to consult with the three unions and LGNSW on the employment implications that arise from the amalgamations. While nothing really could be dealt with today while we waited for the Premier’s announcements at the Media Conference, the Working Party did adopt Terms of Reference to regulate their activity over the next months.

You can see the Terms of Reference here. Members should draw comfort from the existence of this Working Party and our critical role as a member.

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