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March 21 – Council supportive, but cautious, on LG Review Panel

21 March 2012

Strathfield Mayor Paul Barron has given his support to the State Government’s announcement yesterday that it would establish a Local Government Review Panel, but remains cautious on what impact it may have on the Strathfield community.

Local Government Minister Don Page announced yesterday the formation of the panel which would look to identify options for governance models, structural arrangements and voluntary boundary changes for local government in New South Wales.

Cr Barron said the announcement was a positive for the local government sector as it may rectify issues facing local government such as cost shifting, but was cautious that it may be used by some to further political interest.

“Strathfield Council is a medium sized Council that has been financially sustainable for many years, so taking the Minister’s announcement at face value, and I have no reason not to, Strathfield community has nothing to worry about it when it comes to ‘voluntary boundary changes’,” he said.

“But what I don’t want to see happen is those with certain interests seize this as a political opportunity and manipulate the process for their own interests at the expense of the Strathfield community.

“Strathfield Council provides a high level of services and facilities to its community, and most importantly, it does so in a financially prudent manner, meaning we are debt free.

“While I accept that there are challenges facing local government, including cost shifting, the Strathfield community shouldn’t have to suffer the burden of sharing its services and facilities with other, potentially weaker, areas.”