Fit for the Future

Fit for the Future

No amalgamation

18 December 2015

The decision to leave the City of Sydney as a stand-alone council not only makes perfect sense, but is also a victory for democracy.

Local residents and businesses strongly opposed amalgamating the City of Sydney with any other council.

They shared our belief that we are able to plan for the future while continuing to deliver world class services and events every day.

This decision recognises that we deliver high quality services and infrastructure to around 1.2 million people in our area daily.

We are fit for now and fit for the future.

A forced amalgamation would have held back local development investment by up to $40 billion over the next decade.

The City has more than 400 infrastructure projects planned for the next 10 years, which will generate tens of millions of dollars in new contracts for large, medium and small businesses.

We are effective partners with the NSW Government in transforming our city.

Development worth $8 billion will transform the City’s south including our $800 million investment in a new town centre, library, plaza, aquatic centre, sports field and other community facilities at Green Square, which is expected to house 55,000 residents and provide 20,000 local jobs.

The City is also investing $220 million in support of the government’s light rail project.

Over the past decade we have delivered a $1 billion capital works program while keeping residential rates among the lowest in the Sydney metropolitan area – and giving free rates to pensioners.

The decision means we can continue to be important partners for the NSW Government in delivering major transformative projects.

And we will continue to support Sydney’s rapidly growing population and workforce with a record budget of nearly $2 billion for new and renewed infrastructure over the next decade.

Council amalgamation rejected

Local residents and businesses have opposed amalgamating the City of Sydney with any other council and believe we are able to plan for the future while continuing to deliver world class services and events every day.

An overwhelming 82% of residents and 72% of businesses supported the City continuing within our current boundaries in a statistically sound survey of 1,000 residents and 500 businesses.

Despite this support, and the City of Sydney receiving the highest number of supportive public submissions of any council, IPART (the Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal) has deemed the City of Sydney is not fit for the future.

Even though the City delivers high quality services and infrastructure to around 1.2 million people in our area daily, IPART has decided the City does not meet scale and capacity criteria when compared to "Global City Council" attributes laid down by the Independent Panel of Local Government.

The NSW Government will now give councils a 30-day consultation period to respond to the findings.

The City of Sydney has argued it is ‘fit’ as it has the scale and capacity to service 1.2 million residents, workers and visitors every day. The Independent Local Government Review Panel proposed an amalgamation of the City with Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and Botany Bay councils – a merger rejected by local residents and businesses.

Those councils have also rejected any amalgamation with the City, which would only deliver potential savings over the next decade of 54 cents per resident, per week.

It is estimated that a forced amalgamation today would hold back or delay local development investment by up to $40 billion over the next decade.

The City has more than 400 infrastructure projects planned for the next 10 years, which will generate tens of millions of dollars in new contracts for large, medium and small businesses.

Development worth $8 billion will transform the City’s south including our $800 million investment in a new town centre, library, plaza, aquatic centre, sports field and other community facilities at Green Square, which is expected to house 55,000 residents and provide 20,000 local jobs. 

The City is investing $220 million in its partnership with the State Government to deliver the CBD and South East Light Rail project from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kingsford.

Over the past decade we have delivered a $1 billion capital works program while keeping residential rates among the lowest in the Sydney metropolitan area – and giving free rates to pensioners.

The City’s forced amalgamation with South Sydney Council in 2004 took more than 5 years to complete bringing staff, planning controls, rating categories, services and IT systems together.

The City has supported continued growth by:

  • approving development worth $24 billion in the past decade
  • overseeing the completion of 8,000 homes in the 5 years to June 2014, with a further 17,600 approved, but not yet complete
  • upgrading 57 unused laneways with a network of plazas where shops and bars thrive
  • investing more than $34 million every year in entertainment and cultural life
  • providing over 1,000 childcare places, with work being fast tracked to provide another 6 childcare centres by 2016
  • fostering a new business sector leading to 90 small bars, 20 food trucks and 24,000 car share members
  • upgrading 105 parks.

The NSW Treasury Corporation, TCorp, rates the City’s Financial Sustainability as ‘Strong with a positive outlook’.

The City will support Sydney’s rapidly growing population and workforce with a record budget of nearly $2 billion for new and renewed infrastructure over the next decade.

The City also provides services not generally provided by local councils including, 24-hour CCTV, a homeless unit, and support for a Safe Space for intoxicated and at-risk young people at weekends.

You can download and read the City's submission.

Last updated: Monday, 30 May 2016