Marrickville Council has received the independent assessment of the financial and non-financial merits of amalgamating with Leichhardt and Ashfield councils.

Council is no longer seeking any modelling with Canterbury or City of Sydney Councils. Both have made it clear they are not considering a merger with Marrickville.

Council commissioned the report in response to the State Government declaring that Marrickville Council is not ‘Fit for the Future’.

According to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) over 70% of Sydney councils are not suitable to stand alone into the future.

This is despite most councils showing that they met every measure of financial sustainability, efficiency, and good management set by the Baird Government.

Most ‘failed’ the Scale and Capacity measure.

“This was a random and arbitrary term that was never explained to councils,” said Mayor of Marrickville Councillor Sam Iskandar.

“We still don’t know what exactly is ‘large enough’. However, we can assume that simply merging with Leichhardt or simply merging with Ashfield would not be large enough, while merging with Ashfield and Leichhardt would meet the Scale and Capacity test.

“We are basing this on the fact that the proposed merger of Burwood-Canada Bay-Auburn has been deemed large enough by IPART.”

The reports: Merger Business Case Comparison and Communities of Interest finds that a merger with Leichhardt and Ashfield would result in financial savings, and much reduced local representation. The reports say that the transition period poses key risks, and that the three local government areas have both key demographic similarities and differences.

“Marrickville is already significantly larger in population than both Leichhardt and Ashfield and also has a higher forecast population growth,” said Councillor Iskandar.

“Ashfield has a higher proportion of high density dwellings and a slightly lower proportion of residents who work in the city, but otherwise the three council areas share a surprisingly significant number of characteristics,” Councillor Iskandar said.

The results of the reports: Merger Business Case Comparison and Communities of Interest will be debated an Extraordinary Meeting of Council on Tuesday 10 November, following the Development Assessment meeting which commences at 6.30pm. Community members and media are invited to attend.

SOURCE: Marrickville Council Website