Three years after the New South Wales government forcibly merged 44 metropolitan, regional and country councils into 20 mega councils, the promised savings have failed to materialise.
Inner West council
In some sort of sick joke, residents of the inner west suburbs of St Peters and Haberfield have been sent earplugs by WestConnex after complaints to it about the incessant and loud noise caused by the construction of this controversial $17 billion tollway.
An extraordinary Inner West Council meeting called by Greens councillors on October 3 to discuss supporting residents’ groups’ campaign against the WestConnex tollway project resulted in very little.
The Labor Mayor Darcy Byrne dominated the five-hour meeting, filibustering to prevent four motions from being discussed. Byrne, who regularly proclaims that “democracy has been restored to council”, insisted that his motions in the form of two “Mayoral minutes”, which had not been circulated, take centre stage.
TThe NSW state government is attempting to carry out the privatisation of its controversial $16.8 billion Westconnex tollway project in relative secret under pressure from the growing calls for it to be stopped.
A submission by the Sydney City Council (SCC) claims the government is planning to separate construction of road tunnels for the third stage of WestConnex from the proposed underground spaghetti road junction at Rozelle in an attempt to “de-risk the project” ahead of its sale to private investors.
In front of a packed public gallery, Labor sided with the Liberals to award the Inner West Council mayorship and deputy mayorship to themselves on September 21.
Labor’s Darcy Byrne received the support of two Liberals and conservative independent Victor Macri for mayor, with Liberal councillor Julie Passas elected as deputy.
Byrne and Passas narrowly defeated anti-WestConnex independent Pauline Lockie and the Greens’ Colin Hesse, who stood for mayor and deputy, respectively, in an 8—7 vote.
In the lead up to the September 9 election for the forcibly amalgamated Inner West Council, Labor candidates are feeling the pressure of strong community opposition to the multi-billion-dollar WestConnex motorway tunnel.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s surprise decision on July 27 to abandon plans for more local council mergers is a win for communities who strongly protested this undemocratic decision, said the Socialist Alliance candidates standing for the Inner West Council in the September 9 election.
The Socialist Alliance has announced three candidates for the Inner West Council elections to be held on September 9.
Pip Hinman will run in Stanmore, Susan Price will run in Ashfield and Blair Vidakovich in Leichhardt.