On 12 May 2016, the NSW government amalgamated Gosford and Wyong Councils to become Central Coast Council. Five years later rates are going up, staff have been axed, community assets are being sold, services cut and there is a public inquiry into Central Coast Council. Our Council is broken and our local democracy is under threat. 

Read about the pluses and minues of a merger / demerger - and take our survey. Download our flyer here

 Tell us what you think: Should Central Coast Council demerge or stay as is?

 

Demerger – Reinstate former Gosford and Wyong Councils

Stay merged as Central Coast Council

Why?

The community has lost representation

Our communities and geography are diverse - it should not be a “one size fits all” approach.

Merger has failed to deliver benefits forecast by NSW government

Complacency - too much trouble to demerge

Unknown cost of demerging

Pluses

Breaks 1 big problem into 2 smaller problems

Improves ratio of elected representative to community (previously approx. 1 Councillor : 16,500 residents)

Reduces workload so Councillors can be more effective

Puts the “local” back into local government - allows for local needs to be better recognised—better control of planning and rates to suit local needs

More chance of collaboration for smaller Councils to work with 2 State MPs and 1 Federal MP

Process is already underway – State government / Administrator pushing through, systems are being combined and harmonised

Moves CC Council towards a model of “Board of Directors” and corporate entity

Argued that it is an opportunity for Council to operate as an advocate for the region as a whole – with one voice

Minuses

Cost of demerger - unknown but not $0 – (this can be offset by having a Joint Organisation and shared services, including for Water & Sewer)

More change for staff and community

Need to divide staff, assets and debt that is owing

Loss of community voice – ratio of Councillors to residents will be 1:36,000 … (with 9 Councillors and forecast population growth will be 1:46,000 by 2035)

Loss of local identity / local community voice – more a “one size fits all” approach

Toxic politics looms large – Council is a football with pressure from 5 State MPs and 2 Federal MPs

 

How does a Council demerge?

A demerger happens through a review of Council boundaries and the formation of a new Council area.

A proposal (to demerge) may be made by the Minister for Local Government or  by a council affected by the proposal or  by at least 10% of enrolled voters.

The process includes a review by the Boundaries Commission and a Public Hearing before the Minister makes a decision.

Who pays for a demerger?

In May 2021, the rules were changed. If a Council submits a proposal and the Minister agrees to demerge, then the NSW government pays for the cost of the demerger. CCFoD believes that this should apply to any decision to demerge.