It is a big relief and wonderful news that Ku-ring-gai Council won its appeal in the NSW Court of Appeal against forced amalgamation with Hornsby Shire. The General Manager Mr John McKee and Ku-ring-gai Council, in particular the staff and legal team deserve our thanks for working so hard to get this victory for the citizens of Ku-ring-gai, and to former Mayor Cheryl Szatow and Councillors Christiane Berlioz, Elaine Malicki, David Armstrong and Duncan McDonald who consistently voted to support the Ku-ring-gai community and the Appeal. Without the combined efforts the leadership of the former Mayor Szatow and these four councillors mentioned, Ku-ring-gai would not have experienced the victory.
The win is just not Ku-ring-gai’s but a vindication to all councils fighting undemocratic mergers across NSW. It is now up to the collective voice of all the councils that face Ku-ring-gai’s ongoing threat to use the win to send a strong message to Premier Berejiklian and the State Government that the Delegate’s Boundary Review processes across the State were greatly flawed and to demand that the State Government back off!
The results of Orange By-election, the subsequent Government backdown on country mergers and now the Ku-ring-gai victory hopefully all send a strong message the NSW Premier, Liberal politicians and Liberal councillors who do not consult their community transparently and honestly, that their actions will not be tolerated and that they will not be re-elected.
What it has reinforced to all of us in community groups who participated in opposing the State Government’s undemocratic boundary review process, is that you must never give up!
What’s happened is now being watched with interest by many. Why? The Greater Sydney Commission has a plan to grow Sydney but there is effectively no plan to protect Sydney and Ku-ring-gai. As shown by the Monthly Chronicle, the North District is of great significance to Sydney, and is already targeted by the State Government with unfettered development.
This is a huge win for the community and democracy, as once again our voices are being ignored by politicians pushing through a hidden agenda. Whilst the Premier and State Government continue to force metro amalgamations, we promise to continue to fight with the Council to save Ku-ring-gai until we are fully vindicated and remain a stand-alone council. We do not want to destroy our unique and successful LGA on the whim of the current Liberal Government and due to an aggressive takeover mentality of another council, not least without a plebiscite!