Mike Baird fronts council conference
Premier Mike Baird fronted the Local Government Association of New South Wales (LGNSW) conference today – dodging a crowd campaigning against the State’s council amalgamations.
A spokesperson for the Save Our Councils Coalition (SOCC) said the Premier avoided addressing the protestors -- which also included people protesting against the privatisation of hospitals -- on the way into the building.
“He snuck in without us knowing… it was too late to confront him, it all happened very quickly.”
The Premier seems set to hold his position on the amalgamations – which took effect in May this year.
“He’s been telling us there’s proof that after the amalgamations that have already happened there’s been cost savings, but he can’t prove it, so we don’t know where that comment came from,” said the spokesperson.
After addressing delegates, the Premier fronted media, saying there would be no back-flip and council amalgamations would go ahead as planned.
A second spokesperson for SOCC said despite the lack of communication from the Premier, the group would continue its protest efforts.
“It’s in the lap of the gods now, but we’re not going away.”
Other issues the Premier raised in his address and Q&A with council delegates included the possibility of increasing library funding, extending the two votes for businesses system to jurisdictions outside of Sydney and pensioner rate concessions.