Stokes: "Council mergers won’t be compulsory"

John Morcombe, Manly Daily, 13.3.2015

PITTWATER state Liberal MP Rob Stokes has assured residents of Pittwater that council amalgamations will not be compulsory, according to the Palm Beach and Whale Beach Association.

Association president Storm Jacklin said Mr Stokes made the assurance at a public meeting at Newport­ last Saturday. The association has launched a campaign to fight any amalgamation of Pittwater with Warringah and Manly.

He said an amalgamation would see Pittwater relegated to the status of a “poor cousin”.

“A recent survey by Warringah Council revealed that 80 per cent of Pittwater residents disagreed or were unsure if a Northern Beaches Council would deliver better services, with 65 per cent believing the new council would not reflect the unique character of their local area,” he said. Mr Jacklin said that residents should not be taken in by the State Government’s offer of $10 million to any council which voluntarily agreed to the amalgamation proposal. “This would not even cover the cost of the amalgamation,” he said.

“Twenty years ago, many of us, supported by the PBWBA, fought and won independence from Warringah Council. Pittwater Council is projected to be financially­ independent for the next 20 years or more.

“Rates would not be lower and you can be sure they will continue to rise with or without amalgamation.”

Mr Jacklin said Pittwater residents should make amalgamation an issue in the coming state election and only vote for candidates who support the status quo.



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