The Battle for Kelly Bush

Kellys Bush in 1970’s (See Battle for Kellys Bush under Archives),

The Battle against Amalgamation with Ryde Council in 2003.

In 2003, Ryde Council attempted an unannounced “hostile take-over” bid for parts of Hunters Hill Municipality, by sending a request to the Boundaries Commission. The Save Hunters Hill Municipality Co-alition, was formed in response and played a key role in averting the threat of amalgamation with Ryde Council.

SHHMC submission to The Boundaries Commission –  “Preservation not Amalgamation”

This saw the first highly successful “Ribbon campaign” in which local residents “festooned the entire municipality of Hunters Hill”  with ribbons representing the Municipal colours (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and White)  on their homes, and around trees through-out the municipality as a protest against the proposed amalgamation.

“Little did Ryde council know about or understand the saying, “If you pull a tiger by the tail you had better have a plan to deal with its teeth.” And what teeth Hunters Hill and its residents had!” said MP Anthony Roberts in a speech to parliament announcing that Rydes take-over bid had failed.

“Friday 24 October was a red-letter day for the people of Hunters Hill. The Minister announced, after intense public and political pressure, that he would not forward the submission of Ryde City Council on the boundary changes to the Boundaries Commission. The council and the community welcome the news, as it confirms not only the heritage significance of the beautiful municipality of Hunters Hill but also the importance of a strong and vibrant local democracy”.

Anthony Roberts MP – Private members speech NSW Parliament OCT 28 2003

All past attempts to amalgamate Hunters Hill with surrounding councils have failed. Those attempting to do so came over time to realise the significance of the area to the nation, the strength of its community, and the many adverse impacts that would flow if it was amalgamated.