Residents attending a public inquiry on February 2 at Wests Ashfield into the New South Wales government's plan to amalgamate Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils were of one mind: they opposed it. About 50 people spoke in the afternoon session, and only 5, including Ashfield Liberal councillor Julie Passas and a self-described businessman, supported the plan. Similar meetings were organised at Sandringham, Bankstown, Manly, North Sydney, Parramatta, Mona Vale, Deniliquin and Shellharbour and more will take place over the next fortnight.
local government amalgamation
"Overwhelmingly, our communities don't want us to merge," Greens Leichhardt councillor Rochelle Porteous said on November 12. She was commenting on the decision by Labor and Liberal councillors in the Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield councils to endorse a "voluntary" merger of the three inner-west councils, under pressure from the state government. At meetings on November 10, the Labor and Liberal councillors voted to support a merger, should the state government proceed with its draconian plan for compulsory council amalgamations across the city.