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February 6 – Mayor of Strathfield moves to resist State Government’s amalgamation push

6 February 2013

Strathfield Council last night voted in favour of Mayor Gulian Vaccari’s motion to actively resist the NSW Government’s plans to amalgamate Strathfield Local Government Area.

Councillor Vaccari’s Mayoral Minute called to deploy $50,000 to the resistance campaign, and to support local community groups that are fighting against the proposed change.

“I, along with every other elected councillor in 2012, campaigned to fight amalgamation. I know for a fact that the majority of people in Strathfield want it to stay intact,” Cr Vaccari said.

“Strathfield residents have nothing to gain, but much to lose from being amalgamated. We currently have a healthy surplus and our council rates are among the very lowest in Sydney. The experience of Queensland and Victoria demonstrates that amalgamations typically lead to sharp rate increases, and that’s a fate I am determined to avoid.

“People who live in this area know that it is well-managed and they are understandably proud of it. They want their council rates to stay in Strathfield and pay for local services and amenities.

“I am aware that plans to amalgamate our council are still in their infancy, which is why I’m hopeful that the NSW Government will come to realise that amalgamation is not a one-size-fits-all solution. However, we need to make our case loudly and clearly, which is why I have moved to dedicate some of Strathfield Council’s energy and resources to this cause.”

The Council’s amalgamation taskforce co-chair, Councillor Helen McLucas, said the Strathfield community had a long and proud history of resisting amalgamation.

“Since the end of World War II, people in this area have resisted the plans of various State Governments to amalgamate our council area, because it has never been in our interests,” Cr McLucas said.

“Once again we are seeing grassroots resistance in the form of ‘Save Our Strathfield’ and I think that’s a great thing. I believe the Mayor has made the right call in moving to offer council support to community efforts to fight amalgamation.

“I commend the Mayor for standing up for Strathfield, even though the push to amalgamate has this time come from a Liberal Government in Macquarie Street.”