Larger Councils are considered the starting point for any assessment being made by IPART on whether council's are 'Fit for The Future' according to its report released last week.
As reported by Anne Davis in the Sydney Morning Herald on 5th June 2015:
"Councils have been told by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) that larger councils of between 250,000 to 500,000 residents as outlined in an earlier independent report into local government will be the "starting point" in assessing whether the council is fit for the future.
IPART last week released its final assessment methodology and clarified what it meant by "sufficient scale and capacity".
While it said it was prepared to entertain other submissions, it said: "We will be guided by the population estimates for the particular local government areas included in the Independent Local Government Review Panel's recommended options. It said the onus was on councils to demonstrate how their alternatives were as good or better if they did not go with the proposed merger clusters outlined by the independent panel....."
This could be a problem for Manly & Pittwater Councils which are actively resisting the One Big Northern Beaches Council being pushed by Warringah and previously recommended by the Samson Report, an independent report commissioned by the State Government. Manly currently has a population of around 44,000 and Pittwater 60,000. Both fall well short of the recommended starting point of 250,000 which would be achieved by the three Northern Beaches Councils merging.
Meanwhile, there is speculation that it is unlikely the State Government will be able to achieve its amalgamation agenda in time for the next Council elections due September 16. This leaves current Councillors faced with the likehood that their existing term of four years may be extended for a further 12 months, at least.
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor, Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations & community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.