The hot topic of this year’s LGNSW conference was the state government’s Fit for the Future program.
Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole both gave an address at the conference held in Coffs Harbour, encouraging local councils to prepare for the future.
The state government are offering large monetary incentives for local councils to merge as part of the Fit for the Future plan and are also encouraging the establishment of joint organisations.
All local councils are being asked to prepare a submission by June 30, 2015 detailing how they will become fit for the future, which could include mergers.
Mr Steffen said councillors were calling on more information about Fit for the Future and what the state government’s intent is after June 30, 2015.
The Fit for the Future package is based on the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s recommendations, which suggested that Forbes merge with Weddin Shire Council.
Mr Steffen said at this stage, Forbes is neither for or against the recommended merger.
He said before council submits their proposal on Fit for the Future they plan on having community consultations early in the New Year as well as detailed discussions with surrounding councils. If all councils in the surrounding area decide to merge, they will receive more money than if just two were to merge.
For example, the government will give $5 million to two councils to merge, but if three regional councils merge they will receive $11 million and if four join together they could receive $13.5 million.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.