Uh oh ...

NSW Deputy Premier and Premier yesterday

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday announced that the proposed local government mergers would only proceed in those areas she could comfortably drive to and get a decent coffee.  Reprising the Eva Gabor role from the 60s television series Green Acres (and making the role her own) the Premier announced that those amalgamations proposed outside the metropolitan area would now not proceed.  

While it’s easy to observe that the Premier should get out more  (because you’ve been able to get a decent coffee the other side of the Great Dividing Range for over a decade and places like Orange, have a thriving wine industry and great restaurants and cafes to boot - there is no Sydney-centricity in the depa office), the quarantining of regional areas and the bush generally sets up a very hypocritical approach to what should be an issue of public policy and the efficient delivery of local government services.  The Government will struggle to get over this.  

Clearly what’s good for the goose, is not necessarily good for the gander, in a Berejiklian/Barilaro New South Wales.

Smiling even more than the Premier was Deputy Premier John Barilaro.  Not only triumphantly delivering on a National Party policy of no forced mergers in the bush (but conveniently leaving alone the forced merger of his hometown Queanbeyan with Palerang) he was able to cleverly disguise his hammer lock on the Premier at the media conference in Parliament House yesterday.

If the bookies are right, the High Court will reject Woollahra’s application for leave to appeal later this month and Woollahra will have to merge with Randwick and Waverley, Hunter’s Hill will merge with Lane Cove and Ryde, Mosman with North Sydney and Willoughby and Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai.

You can see yesterday’s Media Release here and an up-to-date summary of those new councils that started in May 2016, the proposed Sydney mergers subject of the decision of the courts and those that won’t proceed from the NSW Government’s www.strongercouncils.nsw.gov.au

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