NSW Premier Mike Baird should be congratulated for showing he is willing to consider alternative council boundary proposals according to Hills Shire Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne, who has urged him to consider the option put forward by The Hills.
Mr Baird welcomed an alternative proposal put forward by Warringah Council which differs from the one proposed to them by the NSW Government. As a result, Warringah’s alternative proposal will now be considered by the Council Boundary Review.
Mayor Byrne said she hoped the same consideration would be given to The Hills’ proposal.
“The NSW Premier has shown he is listening to the concerns of the councils and residents within his own electorate and I now ask he does the same for Sydney’s North West,” Mayor Byrne said.
“The Hills Shire Council is the subject of two proposals; one to take our suburbs south of the M2 and give them to an expanded Parramatta City Council and the second proposal is leaving the rest of The Hills to merge with Hawkesbury City Council.”
“The Hills Shire Council has shown a willingness to merge with Hawkesbury, provided we keep our suburbs south of the M2. I ask that the Council Boundary Review be asked to consider this proposal.”
Mayor Byrne said that The Hills Shire was one of the few councils in the state to embrace the spirit of reform since day one and she called on the Premier to jettison the current proposal which will split the LGA.
“There are longstanding communities of interest that stand to be severed by the illogical boundary proposed. As it stands, the M2 will become the new council boundary, cutting off suburbs like North Rocks, Carlingford, Winston Hills, Northmead and parts of Baulkham Hills.
“We are happy to take on the enormous challenge of merging with Hawkesbury City Council and creating a larger, efficient organisation to better represent the residents of Sydney’s North West. All we ask is that our existing communities are not cut off in the process and we are given every opportunity to be better equipped to tackle Hawkesbury’s estimated $100 million infrastructure backlog.”
“Many members of the community I have spoken to have expressed the fact that they have become disillusioned with the local government reform process when in reality it is absolutely necessary. We only ask that the Government makes the right choices now. It is my firm belief, and the belief of thousands of Hills residents, that exiling our suburbs south of the M2 is not in the best interests of the residents and businesses in those suburbs.”