Councillor Forster to Ditch Residential Areas

In a self-interested attempt to gerrymander the City's boundaries, Liberal Councillor Christine Forster is advocating for the separation of the CBD and the City's residential areas.

The NSW Government has appointed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review proposals on "Fit for the Future", the Government's local council reform scheme. IPART is currently accepting submissions to its draft methodology.

Councillor Forster made a submission calling for, "the boundaries of the current Local Government Area to be contracted to cover the core CBD and immediately adjacent business districts."

Councillor Forster has developed and submitted a plan for the future of the City without any input from the community she claims to represent. It flies in the face of what the community has overwhelmingly said and effectively tells non-CBD residents she doesn't want to represent them.

To inform the City's own submission, we have conducted extensive surveys and found 82% of residents and 72% of businesses want the borders to remain the same.

Councillor Forster plan is designed to make the City of Sydney a CBD-based council run by big business, for big business, despite the fact that the CBD is one of the most densely populated residential areas in Australia.

The key paragraph in Councillor Forster's submission argues going back to a CBD only council:

With these considerations in mind, a superior proposal to ensure that the City of Sydney is Fit for the Future would be to create a Local Government Area that truly reflects the new nature of our global city, dominated by the CBD. Rather than the Independent Local Government Review Panel's recommendation that the City of Sydney amalgamate with Botany Bay, Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra councils, the superior proposal would be for the boundaries of the current Local Government Area to be contracted to cover the core CBD and immediately adjacent business districts.

And other areas of the city would be split around surrounding Councils:

The redistribution of current resident ratepayers living toward the existing boundaries of the City of Sydney Local Government Area would clearly assist in providing scale and capacity to the surrounding Council areas through the addition of significant urban growth and residential areas. Under such a scenario, Botany Bay would gain Green Square; Leichhardt would gain the Harold Park development; Marrickville would gain Newtown and Erskineville; and an enlarged Woollahra/Waverley/Randwick would gain parts of Paddington and Centennial Park.

The City's other Liberal Councillor, Edward Mandla, doesn't even live in the electorate. These two Councillors are out of touch with our community.

For the last 10 years the City has met the needs of over a million people a day who, live, work or visit this local government area and whose combined effort contribute over 23 per cent of the state's economy.

Leading independent financial auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers have said the City is a "benchmark against which other councils could be compared", while NSW Treasury Corporation rates the City's finances as "strong" with a "positive outlook" - the only NSW council to receive this rating.

The City's programs and investments - including $220 million to transform the CBD with light rail and $440 million in creating community facilities at Green Square - are essential to our state's future and would be at risk with disruptive change.

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