Below are some questions that Ku-ring-gai residents may have following this latest announcement by the Baird Government.
If you have a question not answered below, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish an answer on this web page.
What are the boundaries of the proposed merger?
View a more detailed map of the proposed boundaries
What's happened so far?
View more background information
Will the community have a say on forced mergers?
Yes - The community will be consulted by Delegates appointed by the government.
Written submissions will be one of the most important ways for Delegates to gather information. People who make written submissions are encouraged (but are not required) to focus on the factors listed in section 263(3) of the Act.
There was also a Public Inquiry meeting held on Wednesday 3 February.
Following community consultation, the delegates will report back to the Baird government for a final decision.
Who will review the submission?
Submissions will be reviewed by the Delegate and used to inform the examination and reporting process.
Submissions that are received after the closing date will be reviewed at the discretion of the Delegate.
What is the role of a Delegate?
The role of the Delegate is to examine and report on a proposal that has been referred to the Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government by the Minister for Local Government (Minister) under section 218F(1) of the Act.
Who has been selected as Council's Delegate?
Council’s delegate is Mr Garry West. He was elected to the NSW Parliament in 1976 as the Member for Orange and retained the seat until 1996. During this time he served as Minister and Shadow Minister for various portfolios, including Energy, Local Government, and Police and Emergency Services.
Following his retirement, Garry entered the private sector as the Public Affairs Manager for Unifoods, a division of Unilever Australia Pty Ltd until being appointed as Corporate Relations Manager for Unilever.
Garry currently serves as Chair of the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel and Independent Chair for the Caroona Coal Project Consultative Committee, and is a member of the Planning Assessment Commission.
Mr West is also the delegate for the “Hills-Hawkesbury” proposal.
What are the key steps in assessing the mergers?
The key steps in that process are:
1. The Minister for Local Government refers merger proposals to the Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government for examination and report under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW). Proposals will explain the impacts and benefits of a proposed merger. (This occurred on 6 January.)
2. The Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government delegates the examination of merger proposals under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) to Delegates. (eg. Mr Garry West)
3. Communities will have a chance to have their say during a public consultation process for merger proposals, including through submissions and at public hearings. Submissions are open to 28 February. It is likely that the public inquiry will also be held in February.
4. Members of the Local Government Boundaries Commission will be appointed in the coming month.
5. Delegates examine proposals, including reviewing public submissions, and after having regard to the factors listed in the Local Government Act 1993 provide a report to the Minister.
6. Delegates will also provide their reports to the Boundaries Commission who will review and comment on the reports.
7. The Boundaries Commission will provide its comments on the Delegates' reports to the Minister for Local Government.
8. The Minister for Local Government will consider the reports from the Delegates and comments on those reports from the Boundaries Commission, and make a final decision for each proposal. (Referred to as a proclamation.)
9. The Minister may or may not recommend to the Governor of NSW that the proposed merger be implemented.
10. New Councils commence.
What happens next?
The Delegate will examine the proposal in accordance with the Act.
Once the Delegate has completed their examination, they must prepare a report and and provide that report to the Minister and to the independent Boundaries Commission. The Boundaries Commission will review the report and provide their comments to the Minister.
Once the Minister has received the comments from the Boundaries Commission and the report from the Delegate, the Minister will make a decision on whether or not to recommend the implementation of the proposal to the Governor of NSW.
For more details on the legislative process please refer to Chapter 9, Part 1, Divisions 2A and 2B, and Chapter 9, Part 3 of the Act.
Can I request a private meeting with a Delegate or can I host my own public meeting and invite the Delegate?
Delegates are not required to accept such meeting requests or invitations and it is recommended that individuals, groups and organisations provide input by making a written submission or by speaking at the public inquiry.