Councils welcome overturn of attempted power grab

Attempts to make it easier for NSW Government Ministers to intervene in council operations have been rejected in State Parliament overnight, with the protection of local democracy welcomed by NSW councils.

LGNSW President Linda Scott said the Government used yesterday’s one-day return of Parliament to unsuccessfully try to force through legislation that would have allowed Ministers to:

  • Dictate the type of infrastructure built in local government areas;
  • Place a cap on the maximum amount of income a council may earn;
  • Dictate when and how councils collect and spend infrastructure contributions by local developers, with no sunset provision.

“Councils and communities welcome that the autonomy of local governments, the most trusted level of government, has been upheld by the NSW Parliament,” Cr Scott said.

“Communities were rightly angry when they learnt the NSW Government, in the midst of a global pandemic, was seeking to grab power from democratically elected councils in order to mandate we stop infrastructure projects, kill local jobs and freeze councils’ income and employment opportunities.

“We welcome an acknowledgement from the NSW Government that it would send the wrong message to simultaneously introduce new powers to fast-track private profit-earning development but prevent community development designed to deliver public good.”

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