Fairfield City's preference is to stand alone

There are many important elements that make a successful council. These include running well financially, strong knowledge of the local area and a strong connection to the local community.

The strong connection is successful when Council understands and listens to the community. It also involves being the community's voice to governments.

This is why we went to the community when the NSW Government recommended that we amalgamate with Liverpool City Council. 91% of the community told us they did not want this.

We have some of the cheapest rates in South West Sydney, solid investment in infrastructure and a financially sound rating from the NSW Treasury.

The NSW Government's view is bigger councils are better.

Fairfield is the third largest and Liverpool the fifth largest council by population. A merged entity would increase the population to over 500,000 by 2031. This is the size of Tasmania and larger than The Northern Territory. This could also have financial repercussions as we would have to take on Liverpool's debt. There are also concerns regarding higher rates.

Most importantly, this large council could lose the strong local connection. It will also result in a loss of resources and services to the most vulnerable.

These are some of the reasons Fairfield City Council chose our first preference to stand alone.

The NSW Government forced Council to provide three amalgamation preferences within 30 days.

As second preference, Council proposed to stand alone with some minor boundary changes. This means we can maintain our local community and still remain independent.

If the NSW Government forces Fairfield to amalgamate our last choice is a boundary realignment, or an amalgamation with Holroyd City Council, with a community consultation or referendum for the community to decide.

An amalgamation with Holroyd means our rates won't be impacted on to a higher level, our population whilst still large would be reasonable. Most importantly, it means that Council would still have a strong connection with the local community.

Council has acted responsibly in maintaining the community's preference to stand alone while still ensuring that the community is in charge of its own services and destiny, should the NSW Government force councils to amalgamate.

We will wait for the NSW Government's response to the latest submission.

I will keep the community informed as more information becomes available.

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

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