IPARTs FINDINGS – 71% OF COUNCILS “UNFIT”
IPART found that HUNTERS HILL COUNCIL (along with JRA partners Ryde and Lanecove Councils) passed ALL measures of financial fitness and sustainability, however the councils each “failed” the one nebulous criteria called “Scale and Capacity” (This was a poorly defined criteria that attempted to rate councils against a theoretical larger “mega-merged” council). IPART therefore declared the councils “UNFIT” for the Future.
Put simply – Hunters Hill Council (along with most of the other 71% of councils in NSW declared to be “unfit”) was declared to be “unfit” simply because it wasn’t big enough, despite the fact there is no correlation between council performance and council size. This is like being found unfit because you are not tall enough, when in fact there is no correlation between fitness and height.
The NSW Government is now using this suspect finding as an excuse to demand that these “unfit” councils merge to form large mega-councils.
View IPART’s Final Report here:
Not surprisingly, serious criticisms arose regarding the validity of the Fit For The Future Process and, in particular the “Scale and Capacity Criteria” via Local Government experts, councils and the community alike.
This triggered an UPPER HOUSE PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY TO INVESTIGATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM AND THE GOVERNMENTS FIT FOR THE FUTURE PROCESS. Again, not surprisingly, this found that the process was fundamentally flawed…