Proposed De-amalgamation of the City of Canterbury Bankstown

Proposed De-amalgamation of the City of Canterbury Bankstown
 
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Proposed de-amalgamation of the City of Canterbury Bankstown

The City of Canterbury Bankstown (CBCity) was formed on 12 May 2016, amalgamating the former Bankstown City and Canterbury City Councils.
Recent amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 provide that new amalgamated councils, within ten years of the constitution of their new area, may submit a written business case to the Minister for Local Government setting out a proposal for the de-amalgamation of the area – whether to reconstitute the former areas or different areas.
At its Ordinary Meeting on 26 July 2022, Council resolved as follows:
  1. Council to prepare and submit a Business Case to the Minister for Local Government to restore the former Canterbury City Council and Bankstown City Council to their pre-amalgamation status and boundaries by de-amalgamating the current Canterbury-Bankstown Council and that the NSW Government fund both the upfront and ongoing/recurrent costs of such a de-amalgamation;
  2. The Business Case be reported back at, or before, Council’s September Ordinary Meeting 2022;
  3. The de-amalgamation be in place for the next Local Government Ordinary Election, due in September 2024; and
  4. The Business Case is to include that Council and Councillors oversee the transition process and that no Administrator be appointed to govern the City.
Once completed, the Business Case will be reported to Council for its consideration and to confirm next steps. If adopted by Council, the Business Case will be submitted to the NSW Government. Please note that the de-amalgamation will only occur if approved the NSW Minister for Local Government.

Find out more and have your say

Complete a survey

To inform the Business Case, Council is seeking feedback from the community. Any feedback received via the survey below will be used as evidence to inform the proposal.
Please login or join CBCity’s Have Your Say platform and then complete the survey below to let us know your views about this important matter.
Survey closes 22 August 2022.

Background 

In July 2021 Council resolved to:
  • Obtain external advice analysing the relevant considerations for Council to consider the merits of de-amalgamating (or not) Canterbury-Bankstown Council to re-constitute the former Canterbury and Bankstown Councils. Councillors are to be briefed on the outcome of the analysis.
Following a report to Council on 26 July 2022, Councillors resolved to submit a Business Case to the NSW Government to de-amalgamate the Council and restore the former Canterbury City Council and Bankstown City Council local government areas. Following on from this:
  • A website, dedicated phone line and email address have been established; and
  • An online community survey is available on Council’s Have Your Say online forum.

The Business Case Contents

The Business Case will cover off on a number of issues including: 
  • The financial advantages or disadvantages (including the economies or diseconomies of scale) of any relevant proposal to the residents and ratepayers of the areas concerned;
  • The community of interest and geographic cohesion in the existing areas and in any proposed new area;
  • The existing historical and traditional values in the existing areas and the impact of change on them;
  • The attitude of the residents and ratepayers of the areas concerned;
  • The requirements of the area concerned in relation to elected representation for residents and ratepayers at the local level, the desirable and appropriate relationship between elected representatives and ratepayers and residents and such other matters as it considers relevant in relation to the past and future patterns of elected representation for that area;
  • The impact of any relevant proposal on the ability of the councils of the areas concerned to provide adequate, equitable and appropriate services and facilities; and
  • The impact of any relevant proposal on the employment of the staff by the councils of the areas concerned.

What happens next?

  • The Business Case will be considered by Council before or during September 2022. 
  • If adopted by Council, the Business Case will then be submitted to the Minister in accordance with Section 218CC of the Local Government Act 1993. 
  • The Minister must, within 28 days, refer the proposal to the NSW Local Government Boundaries Commission with a direction that it conduct an inquiry and report on the proposal. 
  • The NSW Local Government Boundaries Commission considers the proposal under the provisions of Section 263 (3) of the Local Government Act 1993 and advises the Minister if it thinks approval would, or would not, be in the public interest. 
  • The Minister makes the final decision and advises Council.

FAQs 

What would a de-amalgamation mean?
A de-amalgamation of the City of Canterbury Bankstown would restore the former Canterbury and Bankstown Councils to their original local government areas.
Council's Business Case will propose that new elections would occur to elect new councillors for each area, and they would function as two independent local government organisations.
Is this definitely happening? And who makes the decision?

The Minister for Local Government makes the final decision, after being informed of the recommendation of the NSW Local Government Boundaries Commission. The Minister can decide to approve or not approve the Business Case regardless of the recommendation of the NSW Local Government Boundaries Commission.

When will we know?

Although we know that the Minister must refer the Business Case to the NSW Local Government Boundaries Commission within 28 days of receiving it, ultimately the timing of any decision is up to the Minister for Local Government.

Will my rates go up?

As per the 26 July 2022 Business Case, and if the de-amalgamation is approved, Council will be lobbying for the NSW Government to fund both the upfront and ongoing/recurrent costs of such a de-amalgamation. These costs are currently estimated at:

  • $66 million upfront to support the initial costs to split into two new Councils; and
  • An additional $20 million per year to cover the ongoing costs of maintaining services and assets at the current levels.
If the Business Case is ultimately approved by the Minister - what does this mean for me?
  • Local councils generally provide similar services, assets and facilities to the community and they collect rates and charge fees to fund these. However, the decisions of the councillors of the new councils, and the funding capacity of the new councils, will help determine how these services are provided, how assets are maintained, and what facilities are available.
  • Residents would elect councillors at the next election to represent the new local government areas. The ratio of councillors to ratepayers may decrease.
  • Each new council will reconsider things like strategies, policies and how to deliver these.
  • Each new council will begin community engagement to develop strategic planning documents that would reflect the community’s direction and priorities for their new area.

How can I find out more?

Contact Council by:

Has Council already made its decision?
  • Council has resolved to prepare a Business Case. 
  • Council is seeking feedback from the community to prepare an informed, evidence-based Business Case for the NSW Government to consider. 
  • Only if the Business Case is adopted by Council (in or before September 2022) will it be submitted to the Minister for Local Government to make a final determination.
  • Change will only occur if the Business Case is approved by the Minister for Local Government.
  • The de-amalgamation would not be formalised until the next local government election in September 2024. 

Attachments

Notice of Motion Item 10.7 - De-amalgamation Business Proposal - July 2021
Mayoral Minute Item 4.5 - De-amalgamate Business Case Underway - Feb 2022
Notice of Motion Item 10.5 - De-amalgamation - May 2022
Council Agenda Item 7.3 - Proposal to De-amalgamate - July 2022
Council Minutes Item 7.3 - Proposal to De-amalgamate - July 2022