6 June 2022
Whilst the NSW government appointed Administrator, Rik Hart, announces that the “financial crisis is over”- and with claims that he has “always been in favour of democracy” - he has backed the removal of local democracy from our Central Coast community for a further two years.
This latest decision by the NSW government has once again shown contempt for the Central Coast community.
Whilst the government continues the false narrative about what has happened—independent financial and local government experts have raised doubt about the claims.
The government failed to properly fund the Council merger process – and that has contributed to the financial uncertainty for the Council. Similar to many merged Councils, the community is now paying for the NSW government’s failings through increased rates, staff sackings, sale of public assets and loss of services. For the Central Coast community it now includes the loss of local democracy.
For many, it appears that the underlying issue for the State government is that the majority of the elected Councillors stood up for the local community - on issues such as planning in their neighbourhood, protection of the environment, a proper share of funding for our region, better funding for libraries, a fair share of the waste levy funds and against the State government cash grab from developer contributions.
The absence of democratically elected representatives inevitably opens the door for decisions that do not reflect the public interest – with little scrutiny, no accountability and no access to information.
Perhaps these will be the “reforms necessary” to be pushed through without local democracy and community representation.