News & Discussion: Council Amalgamations

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rogue
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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#16 Post by rogue » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:18 pm

Mants wrote:
Wayno wrote:i'd like Unley, Mitcham, & Burnside to be merged. So silly to have multiple councils for such a mature area of suburbia.
exactly, i think i said the same thing a few weeks back
Toff's :wink:

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#17 Post by Wayno » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:26 pm

rogue wrote:
Mants wrote:
Wayno wrote:i'd like Unley, Mitcham, & Burnside to be merged. So silly to have multiple councils for such a mature area of suburbia.
exactly, i think i said the same thing a few weeks back
Toff's :wink:
lots of CUB's as well...
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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#18 Post by Norman » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:47 am

Councillors call for end to Holdfast Bay
http://guardian-messenger.whereilive.co ... dfast-bay/

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#19 Post by Shuz » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:52 pm

I think its a good idea.

The headline should've read "Council wants a divorce"

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#20 Post by crawf » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:27 pm

Yes great idea, Holdfast Bay is probably one of the worst councils in Adelaide

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#21 Post by AtD » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:35 pm

Agreed. Will be glad to see it go.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#22 Post by rhino » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:02 pm

You think 19 councils is too many? Not so long ago there was Hindmarsh, Henley and Grange, Glenelg, Brighton, Thebarton, Munno Para, Norwood, Payneham, St Peters, Happy Valley.

Certainly the merging of councils where I live has not brought any benefits - rates are higher and services are fewer.
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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#23 Post by AtD » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:59 pm

That's 19 layers of bureaucracy, each different to the last, that business have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Even if rates and services are unchanged, there's significant private sector savings.

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News & Discussion: Council Amalgamations

#24 Post by Shuz » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:12 am

It's time to trim our councils
DANIEL WILLS
September 19, 2009 12:01am

Image
THE wages of council chief executives are costing each ratepayer up to $47 a year. The total bill for executives and councillors has blown out to $8.4 million.

Figures provided to The Advertiser show the operating budgets for Adelaide's 19 metropolitan councils are nearing $1 billion.

The revelations come as business and political leaders, including Lord Mayor Michael Harbison, renew calls for a dramatic reduction in the number of councils.

SURVEY - DO YOU THINK WE GET VALUE FOR MONEY FROM OUR COUNCILS? Follow the link for our survey of your opinions.

Reform advocates claim alternatives, including a plan for a single super council, would:

IMPROVE consistency in speed and traffic regulations.

SAVE millions of dollars in wages paid to council bureaucrats and staff.

BOOST development and investment by clarifying planning regulations.

IMPROVE the ability to lobby for service contracts and state and federal grants.

END squabbling and delays over infrastructure projects that cross existing council boundaries.

LEAD to more professional representation and higher governance standards.

Independent MP and former Mitcham councillor Bob Such wants the State Government to establish a panel, chaired by a retired judge, to review council numbers across the city and recommend changes.

"They (councils) are all expanding their empires and building bigger castles," Mr Such said.

"But there has been a swing in public attitude and the climate is right for changes."

He said councillors were, naturally, against a cutback in the number of councils because they would lose the perks of office.

Figures provided by former valuer-general John Darley show Adelaide ratepayers are charged more than twice their Brisbane counterparts to maintain the city's 263 councillors and 19 chief executive officers.

Brisbane – Australia's largest local government – spends $3.8 million on the salaries of its CEOs and 27 full-time councillors, while residents across metropolitan Adelaide are collectively hit with a bill of $8.4 million.

Mr Darley said reducing council numbers across Adelaide to no more than four would save ratepayers millions of dollars in CEO and director salaries alone.

"Brisbane City Council also handles sewerage, water supply, buses and a whole range of other services more than they do here," he said.

"We don't need 19 of these councils across a city of one million people."

The figures show residents in Walkerville are each charged $47.31 to pay the salary of CEO Kiki Magro, who earns $160,048 a year.

Neighbours in the 9486-ratepayer micro council of Prospect each pay $19.16 to retain the services of CEO Mark Goldstone, whose salary is $181,754.

Residents of Adelaide's largest council, Onkaparinga, each pay $3.94 into the pocket of CEO Jeff Tate, who earns $285,000.

State/Local Government Relations Minister Gail Gago said she had no plans for forced council mergers, but called on metropolitan mayors to work together to deliver more cost-efficient services. "The Government does not support forced amalgamations," she said.

"It's up to councils if they choose to amalgamate.

"It is more appropriate that we encourage councils within each of the 12 South Australian planning regions to form partnerships and work co-operatively to respond to the future needs of their individual regions while creating efficiencies."

A group of seven eastern suburbs councils, including Burnside and Unley, last year formed the Eastern Regional Alliance to increase their clout with higher levels of government and to cut their costs. Mr Harbison is a long-term advocate of establishing three super councils across Adelaide, saying the existing structure causes mass delay in delivering services city-wide.

Business SA chief executive Peter Vaughan also advocates the formation of super councils.

"The current system is highly inefficient, costs ratepayers significant amounts of money that don't need to be spent and creates mini-fiefdoms," he said.

"The councils are still using an outdated, 18th-century model.

"If people don't understand that it's an impediment to business, they don't have any understanding of the real world."

Property Council of Australia SA executive director Nathan Paine said the city urgently needed to review council numbers and find ways to cut red tape and encourage new investment.

Local Government Association president Felicity-ann Lewis said the organisation supported the last round of consolidation in the late 1990s, when the state's councils were cut from 118 to 68.

"The two crucial issues to consider when looking at council size are what people want to achieve by amalgamation, and what ratepayers and residents would think about access and responsiveness from super councils," she said.

"I don't detect any widespread community views in favour of amalgamations at present, but it is something councils consider from time to time."

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Re: #ARTICLE: Council Amalmagation

#25 Post by Shuz » Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:22 pm

Suprised no-ones replied to this yet?

Personally, I think there should be four large councils - consisting of North, Central, South and Hills.

[*] NORTH: Gawler, Salisbury, Tea Tree Gully and Playford councils merge - gives them a $213.6m budget for 136,566 rate-payers.

[*] CENTRAL: Port Adelaide-Enfield, Charles Sturt, Prospect, Walkerville, Campbelltown, Norwood-Payneham-St.Peter's, Adelaide City, West Torrens, Unley, Burnside, Holdfast Bay, Marion and Mitcham councils merge - $604m budget, 335,547 rate-payers.

[*] SOUTH: Onkaparinga (as is): $104.5m budget, 72,266 rate-payers.

[*] HILLS: Adelaide Hills (as is): $29m budget, 17,044 rate-payers.

Some of the boundaries should be changed as well - Little Para River for instance to differentiate North and Central, Onkaparinga River to differentiate South and Central, and Hills Face Zone to differentiate Hills and Central?

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Re: #ARTICLE: Council Amalgamation

#26 Post by Wayno » Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:41 pm

Not much to say about the above article - State Govt says merging is up to the councils. Councils won't consider merging as they risk their own jobs doing so...

Same argument applies between fed & state govts in many areas.
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Re: #ARTICLE: Council Amalgamation

#27 Post by Hooligan » Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:43 pm

There was talk in the messenger a while ago about merging Playford and Salisbury. Proberly wont happen though

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Re: #ARTICLE: Council Amalgamation

#28 Post by AtD » Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:04 am

The fewer councils, the better, IMO. It's a waste to duplicate all those services.

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Re: #ARTICLE: Council Amalgamation

#29 Post by Will » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:40 pm

There are so many benefits regarding the amalgamation of councils. In addition to the ones people have already mentioned, there is also the added benefit of reducing the influence that minority NIMBY groups currently have.

Although there are some that say that we do not need 3 levels of government, I disagree. Local councils have a place in society, however not in their current shape. There is no logical arguement for keeping the 19 councils we currently have. If we were starting Adelaide from scratch, no-one would suggest creating 19 councils with the boundaries they currently have.

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Re: #ARTICLE: Council Amalgamation

#30 Post by monotonehell » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:45 pm

Almost exactly what Will said. ^^

Councils need to be sized to benefit from scale. That's for the services that they provide. On the other hand development approvals need to be taken out of the hands of those with personal interests and placed into bureaucrats, which is normally a dirty word but not in this sense where a less subjective call needs to be made without influence of those with vested interests.
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