Newcastle and Lake Macquarie will be $15.4 million worse off under Liberals’ council merger plan

Modelling by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office shows that ratepayers would be $15.4 million worse off under the Liberals plan to merge Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Councils. NSW Labor has ruled out forcing councils to merge.

 

 

The NSW Liberal Government has encouraged Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Councils to merge as part of their “Fit for the Future” policy, which promises $258 million for councils that agree to merge voluntarily. However, NSW Liberal Treasurer Andrew Constance threatened councils with the “stick” of forced amalgamations if they did not agree to merge voluntarily.

 

However Fit for the Future has been exposed as a sham, with not one cent of the $258 million promised to councils allocated in the Liberals’ budget or their election promise costings.

 

Further, an analysis by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office shows that it would cost $15.4 million to merge Lake Macquarie and Newcastle councils.

 

The independent Parliamentary Budget Office’s analysis is based on the Queensland Treasury’s review of the cost of council amalgamations undertaken in Queensland in 2009.