ALC supports NSW local council mergers


Logistics body believes the current local council system in NSW is 'broken and in 'need of urgent repair'

ALC supports NSW local council mergers
Michael Kilgariff backs amalgamations.

 

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has backed merger calls for NSW local councils deemed unfit by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) report.

The industry body believes changes to council zones will deliver productivity and efficiency gains for the state’s freight supply chains and remove inconsistency issues felt when dealing with different councils.

"The logistics industry agrees with the report’s recommendation to merge councils that are deemed ‘not fit’ as a way to improve the delivery of major infrastructure, achieve more efficient service delivery and to better integrate strategic planning and policy," ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff says.

"As the report card indicates, there is a need to enhance the scale and capacity of local councils to improve how they deliver services to both local communities and industry, and the logistics industry is a good case in point.

"All too often, and to the frustration of industry, councils take different approaches to such things as ‘last mile’ access, the loading and unloading of goods, delivery curfews and other restrictions which impact on the efficient movement of freight."

The report details the status of 144 councils across the state in the eyes of IPART, which has judged the governments as either ‘fit’, ‘unfit’ or ‘fit as a rural council’.

Only 40 per cent of the council proposals were seen as ‘fit’ by the tribunal, determining the remainder did not have sufficient scale and capacity to survive into the future; did not meet the financial criteria outlined; or in the case of nine, neither.

The report makes a number of ‘preferred options’ for council mergers that it believes will save NSW almost $2 billion over the next 20 years in the metropolitan area alone.

The ALC says improving heavy vehicle road access could save $59.2 million per year in red tape costs, and estimates heavy vehicle access restrictions cost $366 million per year in NSW. 

"Because of a lack of size, many local government areas do not have the skills and resources, or alternatively, do not prioritise the task of undertaking, or obtaining, the engineering assessments necessary to make informed road access decisions," Kilgariff says.

"The logistics industry would support any steps, such as amalgamations, to enhance councils’ ability to make better decisions in regards to heavy vehicle access, particularly as they relate to ‘first and last mile’ issues.

"Merging councils would not only bring with it economies of scale, it would help to deliver more ‘joined up thinking’ on such matters as road access decisions, planning and curfews."

IPART’s preferred outcomes for the metropolitan Sydney areas are as follows:

  • Randwick City and Waverley merge. Joined by City of Botany Bay, City of Sydney and Woollahra Municipal.
  • Auburn City to merge with Holroyd, Parramatta, Ryde (part) and The Hills (part).

  • Burwood and Canada Bay to merge with Ashfield, Leichhardt, Marrickville and Strathfield.

  • The amalgamtion of all councils in the Lower North Shore, Northern Suburbs, Northern Beaches, South West, and Sountern regions.

No changes to:

  • Bankstown
  • Blacktown City
  • Blue Mountains City
  • Camden
  • Campbelltown City
  • Hawkesbury
  • Penrith City
  • Sutherland Shire
  • The Hills Shire
  • Wollondilly Shire

 

Click here for the full list of councils, their ratings and preferred outcomes

 

 

 

 

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