Randwick City's Future

CURRENT SITUATION

The NSW Government announced in December 2015 that it proposes to create a new eastern beaches council by merging Randwick with neighbouring Waverley and Woollahra Councils.

This would create a new council of 274,000 residents spanning the eastern suburbs from Watsons Bay to La Perouse and deliver significant cost savings.

The proposal was on public exhibition in January and February 2016.

In May 2016, the NSW Government announced the creation of 19 new councils by merging councils. However the proposed Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra merger was not included because of ongoing legal action by Woollahra Council. The Minister said this merger has "support in principle".

On 20 July 2016, the Land & Environment Court dismissed the legal action, but Woollahra Council announced on 26 July 2016 they are appealing to the Supreme Court.


NAMING COMPETITION

In April and May 2016, Randwick and Waverley Councils partnered to run a public naming competition for the new council. Hundreds of residents took part and the winning name, which was also the most popular, was Eastern Beaches Council.

COUNCIL POSITION

Council would prefer to stand alone, however as this was not possible through the Fit for the Future process, Randwick Council advocated for the creation of a smaller eastern beaches council that retained local identity and protecting staff and our sense of community. Council opposed the Government's previous preferred merger option of a global city as this would result in the loss of local identity.

Randwick City Council submitted a proposal on 29 June 2015 to merge with Waverley Council to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) as part of the Fit for the Future process. This proposal was assessed by IPART to be 'fit'. The Government has subsequently expanded it to include Woollahra Council.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

Thank you to the 8,000 residents who took part in the most comprehensive community engagement program throughout 2014 and 2015 in the council's history. Lots of people had their say through reply-paid surveys, online surveys, telephone surveys, focus groups and information stalls.

You told us:

  • most people don't want change, but if mergers must happen, 90% would prefer an eastern suburbs council;
  • 49% of people would prefer Randwick to stand alone and 51% want a merger;
  • a Randwick / Waverley merger is one of the most preferred merger options as it keeps an eastern suburbs identity with beaches, parks and families.
Download community consultation PDF fact sheets: Community Survey, Telephone Survey, Focus Groups and Information Stalls. Or view the full reports in Appendix B - Community Engagement

OPTIONS ANALYSIS

Randwick Council released a comprehensive Options Analysis on 14 May 2015 for public exhibition for 28 days on merger and stand-alone options and the results of its community consultation. The reports were considered at a Council meeting on 26 May 2015.

BACKGROUND

The NSW State Government released its ‘Fit for the Future’ program in September 2014 which required most NSW councils to consider amalgamation options with neighbouring councils as the Government wanted to reduce the number of metropolitan councils.

For Randwick Council, the Government wanted us to consider an amalgamation with City of Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Botany councils – building a global city with more than 500,000 residents. This proposal has since been dropped by the NSW Government.

We believe Randwick City Council should not be amalgamated because we are financially viable, have no debt and provide high quality services and facilities for our community.

However the government has indicated that no change is not an option and we are required to consider the global city option or something 'broadly consistent'.

In February 2015, every resident and ratepayer was sent an Information Pack and a Community Survey. The survey could be completed in hard copy or on-line and has now closed.

CURRENT SITUATION

The NSW Government announced in December 2015 that it proposes to create a new eastern beaches council by merging Randwick with neighbouring Waverley and Woollahra Councils.

This would create a new council of 274,000 residents spanning the eastern suburbs from Watsons Bay to La Perouse and deliver significant cost savings.

The proposal was on public exhibition in January and February 2016.

In May 2016, the NSW Government announced the creation of 19 new councils by merging councils. However the proposed Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra merger was not included because of ongoing legal action by Woollahra Council. The Minister said this merger has "support in principle".

On 20 July 2016, the Land & Environment Court dismissed the legal action, but Woollahra Council announced on 26 July 2016 they are appealing to the Supreme Court.


NAMING COMPETITION

In April and May 2016, Randwick and Waverley Councils partnered to run a public naming competition for the new council. Hundreds of residents took part and the winning name, which was also the most popular, was Eastern Beaches Council.

COUNCIL POSITION

Council would prefer to stand alone, however as this was not possible through the Fit for the Future process, Randwick Council advocated for the creation of a smaller eastern beaches council that retained local identity and protecting staff and our sense of community. Council opposed the Government's previous preferred merger option of a global city as this would result in the loss of local identity.

Randwick City Council submitted a proposal on 29 June 2015 to merge with Waverley Council to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) as part of the Fit for the Future process. This proposal was assessed by IPART to be 'fit'. The Government has subsequently expanded it to include Woollahra Council.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

Thank you to the 8,000 residents who took part in the most comprehensive community engagement program throughout 2014 and 2015 in the council's history. Lots of people had their say through reply-paid surveys, online surveys, telephone surveys, focus groups and information stalls.

You told us:

  • most people don't want change, but if mergers must happen, 90% would prefer an eastern suburbs council;
  • 49% of people would prefer Randwick to stand alone and 51% want a merger;
  • a Randwick / Waverley merger is one of the most preferred merger options as it keeps an eastern suburbs identity with beaches, parks and families.
Download community consultation PDF fact sheets: Community Survey, Telephone Survey, Focus Groups and Information Stalls. Or view the full reports in Appendix B - Community Engagement

OPTIONS ANALYSIS

Randwick Council released a comprehensive Options Analysis on 14 May 2015 for public exhibition for 28 days on merger and stand-alone options and the results of its community consultation. The reports were considered at a Council meeting on 26 May 2015.

BACKGROUND

The NSW State Government released its ‘Fit for the Future’ program in September 2014 which required most NSW councils to consider amalgamation options with neighbouring councils as the Government wanted to reduce the number of metropolitan councils.

For Randwick Council, the Government wanted us to consider an amalgamation with City of Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Botany councils – building a global city with more than 500,000 residents. This proposal has since been dropped by the NSW Government.

We believe Randwick City Council should not be amalgamated because we are financially viable, have no debt and provide high quality services and facilities for our community.

However the government has indicated that no change is not an option and we are required to consider the global city option or something 'broadly consistent'.

In February 2015, every resident and ratepayer was sent an Information Pack and a Community Survey. The survey could be completed in hard copy or on-line and has now closed.

  • Eastern Beaches Council winning name

    8 months ago

    JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

    RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL & WAVERLEY COUNCIL

    4 July 2016

    Eastern Beaches Council has been chosen as the winning name in Waverley and Randwick Councils’ Name Your New Council competition.

    The Mayors of Waverley and Randwick chose this name after assessing the results of 349 submissions from the community.

    Of the 349 entries from the Waverley, Randwick and Woollahra communities, 19 per cent chose Eastern Beaches Council as their preferred name for the merged council.

    Waverley Mayor, Sally Betts said Eastern Beaches was chosen due to the community pride in the beautiful coastal lifestyle residents in all three... Continue reading

    JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

    RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL & WAVERLEY COUNCIL

    4 July 2016

    Eastern Beaches Council has been chosen as the winning name in Waverley and Randwick Councils’ Name Your New Council competition.

    The Mayors of Waverley and Randwick chose this name after assessing the results of 349 submissions from the community.

    Of the 349 entries from the Waverley, Randwick and Woollahra communities, 19 per cent chose Eastern Beaches Council as their preferred name for the merged council.

    Waverley Mayor, Sally Betts said Eastern Beaches was chosen due to the community pride in the beautiful coastal lifestyle residents in all three council areas enjoy every day.

    “Residents rightly pointed out that this area has the best beaches in Australia in Sydney’s East,” she said.

    “I am delighted the community had an opportunity to have a say on this important decision.

    “It is exciting that the community will now have a sense of ownership on the name of the new entity.”

    Randwick Mayor, Noel D’Souza said the competition shows that residents across the eastern suburbs feel a strong sense of connection with the beach.

    “I’d like to thank everybody who had their say in this important consultation. It’s clear that the beach lifestyle resonates strongly with many people and it creates a proud community of interest.

    “Randwick City Council has an adopted position of a preference for the name Eastern Sydney Council, however the community has spoken and I am happy to also put forward to the Government the suggestion Eastern Beaches Council.”

    “The proposed merger of Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra will result in a strong eastern beaches council with 28 beaches and bays, three national parks and 274,000 residents,” Mayor D’Souza said.

    Winners of the competition will win a double pass to see a movie at their choice of The Ritz Cinema in Randwick or Event Cinema in Bondi Junction.

    While originally, the councils planned to submit three preferred names to the State Government, the Mayors felt Eastern Beaches Council was the standout winner.

    Other names that were popular included Eastern Sydney Council, Eastern Suburbs Council, and Sydney Eastern Bays. Fifty-four per cent of all submissions included East, 21 per cent included beaches, and 7 per cent included the coast.

    Comments from residents included “the beaches is what makes this part of Sydney so special”, “it is a logical descriptive and evocative of the area”, “it describes the area’s main attraction”, “it’s obvious”, “it’s a true name and very fitting”.

    The winning name chosen by the community and other possible names will be submitted to the State Government prior to proclamation of the new entity.


  • Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra not included in first round of mergers

    8 months ago

    MEDIA RELEASE

    RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL

    12 May 2016

    Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza today said Randwick City Council is not included in 19 local government mergers across the state announced by the NSW Government.

    “We are not included in the first round of mergers,” Mayor D’Souza said. “In announcing the Council mergers, the Government has not included Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra, despite us being recommended to merge in a proposal released by the Minister earlier this year.

    “It seems that we are not part of this first round of mergers because of the pending court case decision brought about by Woollahra... Continue reading

    MEDIA RELEASE

    RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL

    12 May 2016

    Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza today said Randwick City Council is not included in 19 local government mergers across the state announced by the NSW Government.

    “We are not included in the first round of mergers,” Mayor D’Souza said. “In announcing the Council mergers, the Government has not included Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra, despite us being recommended to merge in a proposal released by the Minister earlier this year.

    “It seems that we are not part of this first round of mergers because of the pending court case decision brought about by Woollahra Council against the merger. In a media statement issued by the Premier today, it says the Minister for Local Government supports creating a further nine councils, subject to decisions of the court.

    “We’ve always said as a Council we’d prefer to stand alone. We know this is what most residents want, but we’ve also been dealing with a Government that wants to reform local government.

    “I think today’s announcement by the Government shows they are pretty serious about getting on with the job of merging councils. I think residents should prepare themselves for the possibility that a merger of Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra may happen soon, once the court case is resolved.

    “I also would like residents to know that if a new eastern beaches council is created, it’s nothing to fear and staff from all three councils have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure a smooth transition.

    “I believe the impact on residents would be minimal and if I’m still a part of the Council, I will be ensuring that we not only continue providing our existing services, but provide even greater services and projects for the eastern beaches area,” Mayor D’Souza said.

    __________________________________

    Visit www.strongercouncils.nsw.gov.au for further information on the proposed merger between Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils.

    The following documents and reports provide an in-depth look at The Delegate's consultation and ruling process:


  • Waverley and Randwick staff planning for a new eastern suburbs council

    8 months ago

    MEDIA RELEASE
    RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL

    20 April 2016

    Almost 400 staff from Waverley and Randwick Council met for the first time on Thursday 14 April to start the planning work for a new eastern suburbs council.

    The staff all volunteered to be part of 70 Project Action Teams looking at every council function including road maintenance, libraries, childcare, rubbish and recycling, parking, finance, planning and development. The teams have been tasked with analysing the current practices of the councils and recommending a way forward for the new organisation.

    The new council would cover the existing Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Council... Continue reading

    MEDIA RELEASE
    RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL

    20 April 2016

    Almost 400 staff from Waverley and Randwick Council met for the first time on Thursday 14 April to start the planning work for a new eastern suburbs council.

    The staff all volunteered to be part of 70 Project Action Teams looking at every council function including road maintenance, libraries, childcare, rubbish and recycling, parking, finance, planning and development. The teams have been tasked with analysing the current practices of the councils and recommending a way forward for the new organisation.

    The new council would cover the existing Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Council areas combining 1,500 staff and taking in 274,000 residents across Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The new organisation will be the third largest council in Sydney with an annual income of approximately $369M.

    The merger is just one of 35 Council Merger Proposals released by the NSW Government late last year and is expected to come into effect in mid 2016.

    Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza said the two councils were leading by example.

    “Creating a new organisation as complex as a local council is no easy task, but with the enthusiasm and professional approach taken by our staff we are well on our way,” Mayor D’Souza said.

    “I sense a genuine excitement in our staff about the possibilities of providing even better services and facilities for our residents and ratepayers.

    “I’d like to thank all staff involved in the process – an organisation is only as good as its people and I’m proud of our great staff who serve our community every day,” Mayor D’Souza said.

    Waverley Mayor Sally Betts said the councils were conscious of the need to provide continuation of services for residents.

    “It is critical if the government decides the amalgamation of our three councils will go ahead that we are able to guarantee to all our residents that they will continue to receive the services they already enjoy from day one of the new council without any disruption. It is fantastic that our staff are working to ensure our services can be merged and improved in a smooth and transparent way.

    “Our aim is to l deliver a smooth transition and continue our high-performing and customer-focused culture of putting residents first.

    “Hopefully in the near future Woollahra staff will be joining the Waverley and Randwick teams. In the meantime, we will ensure that quality services continue to be delivered to Woollahra residents as well.” Mayor Betts said.

    The Project Action Teams will continue to meet regularly over the coming weeks to plan for the merge.

    Randwick and Waverley Council are calling for community input into the name of the new council. Residents can also suggest a name for the new council online by visiting www.yoursayrandwick.com.au or www.haveyoursaywaverley.com.au.


  • Randwick - Waverley - Woollahra Merger Proposal Public Inquiry

    about 1 year ago

    The Office of Local Government is coordinating a public hearing on the NSW Minister for Local Government's proposal to merge Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils.

    Thursday, 4 February 2016
    1pm - 5pm
    Club Rose Bay
    1 Vickery Ave
    Rose Bay NSW 2029

    Thursday, 4 February 2016
    7pm - 10pm
    Club Rose Bay
    1 Vickery Ave
    Rose Bay NSW 2029

    Members of the public who would like to attend are requested to register online or by contacting 1300 813 020. Members of the public who would like to speak at the inquiry are requested to indicate that they wish to do... Continue reading

    The Office of Local Government is coordinating a public hearing on the NSW Minister for Local Government's proposal to merge Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils.

    Thursday, 4 February 2016
    1pm - 5pm
    Club Rose Bay
    1 Vickery Ave
    Rose Bay NSW 2029

    Thursday, 4 February 2016
    7pm - 10pm
    Club Rose Bay
    1 Vickery Ave
    Rose Bay NSW 2029

    Members of the public who would like to attend are requested to register online or by contacting 1300 813 020. Members of the public who would like to speak at the inquiry are requested to indicate that they wish to do so when they register to attend.

    Members of the public may only speak once at the inquiry and the order of speaking will be determined by the Delegate. Registrations to speak will close at 12noon on Friday 29 January.

    You can view more information and register to speak on the NSW Government Council Boundary Review website.


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  • Council merger proposal open for comment

    about 1 year ago

    The NSW Government is seeking feedback on its plan to create a new eastern beaches council by merging Randwick Council with neighbouring Waverley and Woollahra Councils.

    This would create a new council of 274,000 residents spanning the eastern suburbs from Watsons Bay to La Perouse and deliver cost savings.

    The proposal is currently on public exhibition and submissions can be made online to the Office of Local Government.

    Submissions should refer directly to the proposal and submission authors are encouraged (but not required) to focus on one or more of the factors in section 263(3) of the Act, being:

    The NSW Government is seeking feedback on its plan to create a new eastern beaches council by merging Randwick Council with neighbouring Waverley and Woollahra Councils.

    This would create a new council of 274,000 residents spanning the eastern suburbs from Watsons Bay to La Perouse and deliver cost savings.

    The proposal is currently on public exhibition and submissions can be made online to the Office of Local Government.

    Submissions should refer directly to the proposal and submission authors are encouraged (but not required) to focus on one or more of the factors in section 263(3) of the Act, being:

    • the financial advantages or disadvantages of the 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 considered relevant in relation to the past and future patterns of elected representation for that area;
    • the impact of the proposal on the ability of the council to provide adequate, equitable and appropriate services and facilities;
    • the impact of the proposal on the employment of the staff by the council;
    • the impact of the proposal on any rural communities in the resulting area;
    • the desirability (or otherwise) of dividing the resulting area or areas into wards
    • the need to ensure that the opinions of each of the diverse communities of the resulting area or areas are effectively represented; and
    • any other factors relevant to the provision of efficient and effective local government in the existing and proposed new areas.

    www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au


    Submissions due: 5pm Sunday 28 February 2016.

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  • Randwick and Waverley have been declared FIT for the Future

    about 1 year ago

    JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
    RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL
    WAVERLEY COUNCIL

    21 October 2015

    The NSW Government and the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal declared that the Randwick Waverley Councils merger proposal as ‘fit’ for the future.

    Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza and Waverley Mayor Sally Betts have together welcomed the announcement by Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole and say it has safeguarded our eastern beaches identity.

    Randwick Mayor, Noel D’Souza said:

    “We listened to our community, who clearly told us earlier this year that they value our eastern beaches identity and strongly oppose becoming part of a global... Continue reading

    JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
    RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL
    WAVERLEY COUNCIL

    21 October 2015

    The NSW Government and the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal declared that the Randwick Waverley Councils merger proposal as ‘fit’ for the future.

    Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza and Waverley Mayor Sally Betts have together welcomed the announcement by Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole and say it has safeguarded our eastern beaches identity.

    Randwick Mayor, Noel D’Souza said:

    “We listened to our community, who clearly told us earlier this year that they value our eastern beaches identity and strongly oppose becoming part of a global city council with the City of Sydney, as originally proposed by the Independent Local Government Review Panel,” he said.

    “Merging our two Councils will protect us from the threat of a global city while further uniting our eastern beaches community and delivering cost savings of up to $103M in the first 10 years alone. This is money we can directly invest into extra services for our residents.

    “This announcement paves the way for a strong, eastern beaches council and I am pleased to see all our hard work and leadership has paid off,” Mayor D’Souza said.

    Waverley Mayor Sally Betts said:

    “A Waverley Randwick merge means our residents will keep their local identity rather than becoming part of the Global City. We know this is a better outcome for our communities, which is why we are delighted IPART has deemed our merger proposal fit for the future. Our residents share communities of interest and a passion for our beautiful area,” she said.

    “We have always wanted to deliver better services to our residents, which is why we worked hard on our merger proposal. We know together we can provide improved services and increased facilities without disruption to our residents.

    “This is a really exciting time for local government, and I’m delighted Waverley and Randwick are leading the way for a better future for our communities,” Mayor Betts said.

    Randwick and Waverley Councils submitted their joint merger proposal on 29 June 2015 to the IPART in response to the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future program. A copy of the proposal is available here.

    Both Councils have also implemented five years employment protection for our staff when amalgamations occurs.

    The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal have released their findings, declaring that only one third of NSW Councils submissions were found to be ‘fit for the future’.

    NSW Councils who were declared ‘unfit’ now have 30 days to respond to the announcement and consider their position. Randwick and Waverley Councils will use this time to work together planning for a seamless transition to a new Council when and if the State Government decides to approve our proposal.

    ENDS

    Media contacts:

    Randwick: Joshua Hay0402 351 459 joshua.hay@randwick.nsw.gov.au

    Waverley: Julie Peters 0450 904 942 julie.peters@waverley.nsw.gov.au


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  • IPART publicly exhibiting Randwick & Waverley merger proposal for comment until 31 July 2015

    over 1 year ago

    The Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has placed Randwick and Waverley Council's merger proposal on public exhibition for comment until 31 July 2015.

    Interested members of the public are encouraged to view and comment direct to IPART.

    IPART is exhibited all proposals received from councils across NSW and is expected to make recommendations to the NSW Government by October 2015.

    LINKS:

    The Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has placed Randwick and Waverley Council's merger proposal on public exhibition for comment until 31 July 2015.

    Interested members of the public are encouraged to view and comment direct to IPART.

    IPART is exhibited all proposals received from councils across NSW and is expected to make recommendations to the NSW Government by October 2015.

    LINKS:

  • Randwick and Waverley Councils submit Fit for the Future merger proposal to IPART

    over 1 year ago

    JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

    RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL & WAVERLEY COUNCIL

    Monday 29 June 2015

    Randwick and Waverley Councils have today, 29 June 2015, lodged their joint merger proposal to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in response to the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future program.

    The merger will create a new eastern suburbs council area with a population of 216,000 residents from Vaucluse to La Perouse and is expected to deliver cost benefits over 10 years of $103M.

    The proposal is a sound alternative which retains communities of interest while still being broadly consistent with the Independent Local Government... Continue reading

    JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

    RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL & WAVERLEY COUNCIL

    Monday 29 June 2015

    Randwick and Waverley Councils have today, 29 June 2015, lodged their joint merger proposal to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in response to the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future program.

    The merger will create a new eastern suburbs council area with a population of 216,000 residents from Vaucluse to La Perouse and is expected to deliver cost benefits over 10 years of $103M.

    The proposal is a sound alternative which retains communities of interest while still being broadly consistent with the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s proposal for a global city council.

    Randwick Mayor Ted Seng said:

    “After completing extensive, detailed analysis and community consultation, Waverley and Randwick Council have today finalised and submitted our joint merger proposal that is in-line with the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future criteria.

    “The communities of Randwick and Waverley share strong ties. We are both coastal communities taking in the Sydney Coastal Walkway and iconic Sydney beaches. A Randwick-Waverley merger will result in a larger council capable of providing quality services and facilities and partnering with the State Government on regional matters,” Mayor Seng said.

    Waverley Mayor Sally Betts said:

    “Waverley and Randwick residents already form a community of interest and our Councils work together on a number of environmental initiatives. When we consider sub-regional planning issues, our new partnership will play a very important role.

    “Our communities have told us that they would prefer to stand alone but if mergers must happen to meet the scale and capacity criteria, then they would prefer an eastern suburbs council rather than a global city involving City of Sydney,” Mayor Betts said.

    Community consultation found support for retaining a coastal council with 90% favouring an eastern beaches council if mergers must happen and only 5% choosing a global city.

    If approved by the NSW Government, the new council area would be the third largest population in NSW and the 11th largest in Australia. With a combined Gross Regional Product (GRP) of $11.8b, the Randwick-Waverley merger will be the seventh largest council area contributing to the NSW economy.

    The merger proposal includes options to include Woollahra and Botany Councils.

    The proposal is a direct response to the Fit for the Future program and will be withdrawn if the Government decides not to proceed with council amalgamations.

    DOWNLOADS:

    ENDS

    Media contacts:

    Randwick: Joshua Hay 0402 351 459 joshua.hay@randwick.nsw.gov.au
    Waverley: Julie Peters 0450 904 942 julie.peters@waverley.nsw.gov.au



  • Message from the Mayor about the future of the City of Randwick

    almost 2 years ago

    Saturday 30 May 2015

    This week, Randwick Council made an historic decision to merge with our neighbouring councils Waverley and Botany Bay.

    This was a very difficult decision for us, but one which a majority of my fellow Councillors agree is the best option for our council, residents and ratepayers.

    Clearly, if it was up to us, all 15 Councillors would vote to stand alone. Randwick is one of the state's leading councils - our finances and asset management are strong, our community is extremely satisfied with our services and our managerial and political leadership is very effective.

    However, as... Continue reading

    Saturday 30 May 2015

    This week, Randwick Council made an historic decision to merge with our neighbouring councils Waverley and Botany Bay.

    This was a very difficult decision for us, but one which a majority of my fellow Councillors agree is the best option for our council, residents and ratepayers.

    Clearly, if it was up to us, all 15 Councillors would vote to stand alone. Randwick is one of the state's leading councils - our finances and asset management are strong, our community is extremely satisfied with our services and our managerial and political leadership is very effective.

    However, as you're probably aware, the State Government is pushing ahead with its Fit for the Future reform program and wants to see bigger councils across Sydney. Their default position is a mega global city council of more than 500,000 residents comprising Randwick, Sydney, Waverley, Botany and Woollahra.

    If we do nothing, or propose to stand alone – the Government will proceed with its plan. We'll become a "suburban outpost" of a global city council based at Town Hall. One that would no doubt see high-rise engulf our city and our sense of community completely lost.

    We don't want this to happen. We don't want to lose our eastern beaches identity and our voice. We want to keep local representation and I know this is what most residents want too.

    By proposing a credible alternative to the global city we are controlling our destiny and protecting our unique eastern beaches identity.

    What you told us

    I would like to thank the 8,000 residents who took part in the most comprehensive community engagement program in the council's history. I posted two letters and information packs and a reply-paid survey to 65,000 households covering all residents and ratepayers. Lots of people had their say through reply-paid surveys, online surveys, telephone surveys, focus groups and information stalls.

    You told us:

    • most people don't want change, but if mergers must happen, 90% would prefer an eastern suburbs council;
    • 49% of people would prefer Randwick to stand alone and 51% want a merger;
    • a Randwick / Waverley merger is one of the most preferred merger options as it keeps an eastern suburbs identity with beaches, parks and families.

    How will it affect you?

    Council has conducted detailed financial modelling to look at all options. A Randwick/Waverley/Botany merger will:

    • deliver cost savings of $143M over 10 years which can be spent on new and improved services;
    • not increase total rates collected;
    • maintain all existing services;
    • protect jobs;
    • continue all existing planned programs; and
    • eliminate the backlog of work required on roads, footpaths, parks, drains and buildings.

    There's still a lot that's unknown such as how many Councillors there'll be, the name of the council and the office locations, but from a resident perspective I'm confident that there'll be minimal impact as we work through these issues and transition to a new organisation.

    All usual council services will keep operating - your bin will be picked up, the parks and sports fields will be maintained, we'll assess DAs and run festivals, libraries and community activities.

    What happens now?

    We now need to seek support from our merger partners to lodge a joint submission with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal by 30 June 2015.

    I have had constructive discussions with Waverley Council and they will be considering their position in the coming weeks.

    IPART will publicly exhibit all council submissions in July 2015 for comment before making merger recommendations to the Government in October 2015.

    It's likely the new council will then come into effect at the Local Government elections in September 2016.

    My commitment to you

    There's still a lot of work to do and we need to wait for the NSW Government to announce their final decision later this year.

    I'll make sure that you continue to be kept informed about this important issue during the coming months.

    More information

    You may like to:

    Yours faithfully

    Councillor Ted Seng
    Mayor of Randwick
    @randwickmayor


  • Fit for the Future: Council decision 26 May 2015

    almost 2 years ago

    Tuesday 26 May 2015

    Randwick City Council has tonight (26 May 2015) voted to oppose a global city council and to form a merged eastern suburbs council with neighbouring Waverley Council and Botany Bay Council.

    The proposal, if supported by Waverley Council, could see a new council of 213,000 residents and deliver cost savings of $103M over 10 years.

    Randwick is recommended by the NSW Government to be merged into a global city council of more than 500,000 residents with City of Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Botany councils - unless a "broadly consistent" option is proposed.

    Adding Botany Bay Council... Continue reading

    Tuesday 26 May 2015

    Randwick City Council has tonight (26 May 2015) voted to oppose a global city council and to form a merged eastern suburbs council with neighbouring Waverley Council and Botany Bay Council.

    The proposal, if supported by Waverley Council, could see a new council of 213,000 residents and deliver cost savings of $103M over 10 years.

    Randwick is recommended by the NSW Government to be merged into a global city council of more than 500,000 residents with City of Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Botany councils - unless a "broadly consistent" option is proposed.

    Adding Botany Bay Council in the merger will help meet NSW Government Fit for the Future scale and capacity requirements and add another 43,000 residents and result in a further $40M in cost savings.

    Randwick Mayor Ted Seng said:

    "Tonight, our Councillors showed true leadership and made the right decision to safeguard our eastern suburbs identity that we so closely align with, and to protect our community from the threat of a global city council.

    "We know that we are financially strong enough to stand alone, but that simply doesn't meet the criteria that's been set by the NSW Government and IPART.

    "Burying our heads in the sand would have sealed our fate as a global city, and seen Randwick become a suburban outpost of a mega city council - a decision that would no doubt have seen high-rise engulf our area and our sense of community completely lost.

    "We've done our due diligence and considered every option available to us. Plus, we have conducted our largest ever community consultation program on this issue. More than 8,000 people had their say, and of all the merger options, Randwick and Waverley was most preferred.

    "Tonight, our Councillors have also put in place a number of provisions, including enhanced employment protection of five years for staff, and a request that the Government conduct a binding referendum before any merger takes place," Mayor Seng said.

    UPDATE: A motion to rescind the resolution from the ordinary Council meeting of 26 May 2015 was considered at an extraordinary council meeting on 30 May 2015 and was lost. This means the resolution of 26 May 2015 as per the above story now stands.

    UPDATE 27 May 2015: A rescission motion has been submitted and this matter will be reconsidered at an Extraordinary Council Meeting to be held on Saturday 30 May 2015 at 7am in the Randwick Council Chambers.