Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain, and Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown, issued the following statement:
On Tuesday May 24, 2016 a peaceful protest was held at the former Marrickville Council Chambers where the state government-appointed Administrator was to conduct the first meeting of the Inner West Council.
There had been an overwhelmingly response from residents in our electorates since the government announced on May 12 that it had sacked the elected councillors and forced the merger of Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield councils. For the next 16 months, when 185,000 inner west residents will be without elected local government representation, the state government will push ahead with major projects like WestConnex, Parramatta Road Urban Transformation and Bays Precinct - each of which have significant impact on our inner west communities.
We attended the meeting as local Members of Parliament to stand with the communities we represent. Also present were former local Councillors and former Mayors. Hundreds of local residents attended the meeting and, while their opposition to the sacking of their elected councils was vocal, the vast majority acted reasonably and respectfully. Of course, we do not condone in any way spitting or aggressive behaviour. Those types of actions have no place in peaceful protest.Read more
In a move that completely undermines our local democracy, Mike Baird has pushed a head with his council amalgamation agenda. Mayors and councillors from 42 councils across the state have been sacked, including those from our local Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield Councils.Read more
Greens MPs and local inner west councilors condemn Premier Baird’s forced amalgamation of Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield councils stating that this action reaffirms this government’s absolute disregard for community concerns and its ruthless program of reducing services to NSW residents.
Jenny Leong MP Member for Newtown
“This is the Liberal agenda - a vision for government tailored to developers and large private interests, at the expense of community voices and services that support the most vulnerable. The sacking of local councilors and the imposition of administrators until September next year will mean our community who are facing massive threats from WestConnex and Urban Growth will be without local representation at this crucial time.
Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain
“Make no mistake - the sacking of Councils is about cutting jobs and services. It is about removing what limited voice remains for communities to stand up to over development and to projects like WestConnex which will decimate our communities.
The Greens are opposed to any forced amalgamations. We support strong, local representation and, unlike this Government, we are supporters of democracy. Read our support for the petition against the forced amalgamation of Woollahra council.
A week before Christmas the Liberal State Government announced its proposal to amalgamate Marrickville Council with Leichhardt and Ashfield councils. Soon after, it published its reasons and announced the appointment of a ‘Delegate’ to examine the proposal and report back to the Minister of Local Government by March 31, 2016.
The process involved in this plan to amalgamate the councils and the reasons behind it are both seriously concerning and seek to further undermine our local community's involvement in local decisions.
This isn't just stopping the NSW Baird Government from forcibly amalgamating our local council - it's about their bigger agenda - to remove local communities and local reprsentatives from decisions that impact us.Read more
The Baird Government has confirmed their plans for forced amalgamations of local councils across the state, in the face of growing community opposition.
According to the State Government’s plan, Marrickville Council will be merged with Ashfield and Leichhardt Councils. This is despite clear indications that residents in the Marrickville LGA do not want their Council to be merged and strong public statements by the Liberal Government before the election that they would not force amalgamations.
Member for Newtown Jenny Leong says:
“Residents expect good local representation. Under this plan the size of LGAs will increase dramatically, but the number of Councillors won’t. That will give residents less access to their Local Councillors, reducing the ability for local advocacy.
“Marrickville Council is known for delivering local services that cater to our community. We fear that those localised services, like Council run-childcare, community festivals – and the Magic Yellow Bus - are under threat.Read more
Media Release - 11 November 2015
Marrickville Greens Councillors called on Inner West mayors to respect the resolutions of their Councils and continue to stand up against forced amalgamations, after the Councils adopted near identical resolutions that claim to resist amalgamations and to submit merger options under protest - with a view to them only being implemented if the Baird Government forces the issue.
Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, "It's clear that the vast majority of residents in the Inner West want their Council to stand alone and not merge and that's the position that Marrickville Council took last night.”
The Greens voted against submitting a ‘Plan B’ merger for a Marrickville-Ashfield-Leichhardt Council, as the Greens believe that Councils should not be merged without a vote of affected residents.Read more
Last Monday I met with Marrickville Councillor Victor Macri and a staff representative from the council to discuss the Alice St development and community opposition to the development.
Councillor Macri went through the DA process in detail from the Council's perspective. As we know, the DA to increase the height of the Alice St development to seven stories is now in front of the Land and Environment Court. Councillor Macri made assurances that the Council will do everything they can as part of that process to represent the interest of the community.Read more
Today we moved a motion opposing forced council mergers.