I received an email from the "Save Our Councils Coalition Committee" about council amalgamation. Below is my reply to their questions.
1) Which Political Party are you a member of?
2) Does your political party commit to respecting local communities and each community’s right to have and participate in their local council?
The Future Party does not have a formal position regarding council amalgamations.
3) Does your political party pledge that it will not vote for or enable or support any policy of forced council amalgamations?
Considering that this is a federal election, and council amalgamations are a state-based issue, I will not, by default, vote for forced amalgamation of councils in NSW.
4) Does your political party commit to a policy of ensuring that where an amalgamation is proposed, the community of each local council area, via a valid referendum, must each have voted by majority in favour of the amalgamation prior to that amalgamation proceeding?
The people of NSW vote democratically to elect a government that decides the boundaries of council areas. It's probably not a good idea to vote all the time on every single boundary change for councils. The Future Party remains committed to the council makeup being elected by the people.
5) Further comments (optional) :
The following is my personal position on councils, not a position of the party.
The current council structure is not really representative of the communities that they are supposed to represent. For example, my old council, Blacktown city council, has more people than Darwin. A 'community' of that size is made up of hundreds of thousands of people who have no connection with almost all the other people in the region. What's worse, each council replicates service provision (rubbish collection etc) and argue back and forth with the NSW government over paying for roads and other infrastructure.
This leaves the NSW government with having to run NSW like a city-state with the Sydney basin requiring constant intervention to make sure that the whole system works. It would be much better for the Sydney basin to be administratively run as a single entity for the majority of the services that scale to a state level (rubbish collection, roads, water etc) while having much smaller communities in charge of things like streetscaping and community events.
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