Fairfield City's Future

In April, an overwhelming 91 per cent of residents and 82 per cent of businesses said they did not support an amalgamation.

Council listened to the community and proposed that we continue to stand alone.

Last Tuesday, the NSW Government announced that 60% of councils were not "fit" for the future.

Fairfield City Council has been found "Fit for the Future" financially. Council was found not to meet the criteria of scale and capacity, because we didn't listen to bureaucrats and instead listened to our community and did not propose a merger with Liverpool.

Fairfield City Council has now been advised that the NSW Government will be making the determination on the future of NSW councils. The State will determine if our City amalgamates, with whom, or if we continue to stand alone.

The State Government is of the view that bigger councils are better. A merged entity between Fairfield and Liverpool would increase the future population to more than 500,000 by 2031. This is equivalent to Tasmania and larger than The Northern Territory.

Fairfield City Council already has a large population. We are the third-largest council in Sydney. We are in surplus and are rated financially sustainable by the NSW Treasury Corporation. We have some of the lowest rates in Sydney.

I have serious doubts about the integrity of this process and the consistency of how it has been applied to all councils.

Surprisingly, councils a third of our size, with smaller budgets and higher rates, met the scale and capacity criteria, according to IPART, and were found "fit".

As someone born in Fairfield and elected Mayor of Fairfield City, I will always do what is best for the community. I do not believe this process has been a true representation of democracy and the community's view.

If any bureaucrat thinks that services or communities should be changed, then it is my view it should be put to the people in either an election or in a referendum, so the people can decide their own community's future. 

However, it appears the NSW Government will not allow the community to decide. 

Fairfield City Council has been allowed only 30 days by the State Government to agree to a process that in essence is a forced amalgamation.

Fit for The Future

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The Mayor's weekly message to residents and ratepayers of Fairfield City.

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