The NSW Executive Director of the Property Council, Jane Fitzgerald, has welcomed the release of new local government boundaries to create modern, professional and community responsive councils across Sydney.
“We congratulate Premier Mike Baird for having the political courage to take on a task that had been left in the too hard basket for decades,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
“[The] announcement is another critical milestone in Sydney’s transformation into a world leading global city.
“Fewer, more professional and financially viable councils will benefit business and the broader community greatly.”
Ms Fitzgerald said the vast majority of councils have run deficits and fallen short in delivering the infrastructure and services to support Sydney’s growth.
With a reduction in numbers from 42 to 25, Sydney’s councils will now have the scale to fund and deliver essential services and infrastructure, supported by funding to kick start new investment.
Ms Fitzgerald said the Property Council’s members invest, own and develop residential communities, office towers, shopping centres, retirement villages and hotels across the State.
“We would encourage Premier Baird to finish the task as soon as possible by going ahead with the remaining mergers as soon as the court decisions are made,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
“The property industry pays almost $6 billion in rates and charges to councils across NSW and more than 70,000 development applications pass through local government annually.
“We need local government to function as well as it can – now and well into the future.”
These amalgamations come at a time of unprecedented growth and development activity in NSW, and the transition process must ensure that councils will continue to meet their business-as-usual responsibilities.
The Property Council will work closely with members and the NSW Government to ensure that affected councils continue to deal effectively and efficiently with any planning approvals during the transitional period.