On 4 April 2016 the Greenwich Community Assocation (GCA) released its position statement on the forced council amalgamation issue. The GCA is the Residents’ Association for Greenwich. It is a very active residents’ association that has been working for Greenwich residents for over 72 years. They publish a monthly newsletter highlighting Greenwich issues. They are responsible for running very popular events such as the Greenwich Carols and Santa at the Wharf. They also work with the team behind the very popular Greenwich Games (read about the Games here). If you live in Greenwich you should sign up for their newsletter.
The State Government’s current position is that Lane Cove Council should merge with the Hunters Hill and Ryde councils. Lane Cove Council does not support the State Government’s forced amalgamation plan. The State Government believes bigger is better and looks like they will push ahead with their plans regardless of public opinion.
Greenwich borders the St Leonards business district precinct. What happens in St Leonards has a huge impact on Greenwich residents. It is important that residents have a say in the planning and development issues in St Leonards.
A possible merger with Hunters Hill and Ryde will weaken the ability of Greenwich residents to mitigate impacts of the large scale development approved by councils in which they are not represented. In the light of the NSW government’s determination to press on with forced amalgamation, the GCA Community passed a resolution opposing the amalgamation. The resolution also stated they would be requesting the Local Government Minister to include Greenwich in the same council boundary area as St Leonards. If this proposal is accepted, and St Leonards and Lane Cove are not in the same council boundary areas, the link with Lane Cove will be severed.
Of course, you can sever the council boundaries link, but socially, culturally and economically there will always be a Greenwich/Lane Cove link. Many Greenwich residents work in Lane Cove or have a business in Lane Cove and visa versa with Lane Cove residents. Some Greenwich children attend schools in Lane Cove (such as St Michaels and Riverview). ITC is having a bit of a Braveheart moment here – the State Government can take our councils boundaries but they can never take our freedom!!
GCA Resolution on the Forced Council Amalgamation Issue
The GCA resolution is reproduced here:
The GCA committee has passed the following resolution:
- The GCA Committee opposes the forced amalgamation of Councils and restates its support for the resolution passed at the Annual General Meeting of the GCA on 17 February 2016.
- The amenity of East Ward of Lane Cove, in particular the Greenwich area, is impacted negatively by the uncoordinated development of the St Leonards and adjacent precincts, an area currently controlled by Lane Cove, Willoughby and North Sydney local government areas.
- The GCA Committee considers that the inclusion of the East Ward of Lane Cove in a local government area foreshadowed by the Minister for Local Government, namely an amalgamation of Lane Cove, Hunters Hill and Ryde, offers East Ward no opportunity to have input into the development of the St Leonards precinct and adjacent areas in order to mitigate impacts on the Greenwich area and East Ward generally.
- In the light of the apparent commitment of the NSW government to proceed with the forced amalgamation outlined in 3 above, the GCA Committee seeks the inclusion of East Ward in a future local government entity that includes the St Leonards precinct and adjacent areas .
- The GCA Committee resolves to make a proposal to the Minister for Local Government under Section 218E (2)(b) of the Local Government Act 1993 to include East Ward of Lane Cove in a future local government entity that includes the St Leonards precinct and adjacent areas.
- The GCA Committee will immediately notify the text of this resolution to the Greenwich community, Lane Cove Council, the Minister for Local Government, local community associations, delegates appointed to consult in respect of the relevant areas, local media and other parties as deemed appropriate by the Committee.
- The GCA will actively engage with the community to secure support for the proposal outlined in 5 above from the number of voters required under Section 218E (2)(b) and make the proposal to the Minister for Local Government. Please be assured that the GCA remains very committed to and supportive of the no-forced amalgamation stance.
The GCA stated that:
The resolution passed on 4 April 2016 derives from our need to ensure, as far as possible, that forced amalgamation, if it proceeds, will not leave us on the edge of a new local government area with little or no ability to input into developments that impact our part of Lane Cove so significantly. PLEASE WATCH OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE DEVELOPMENTS
Resident’s Associations play a vital role in promoting local issues in your area of Lane Cove. If council amalgamations go ahead, it will be even more important for local residents to voice their concerns through local action groups. If you would like to know more about your local Resident’s Association you can read our blog here