Council amalgamation cancelled

HUNTERS HILL HAPPENINGS
with Mayor RICHARD QUINN

OVER THE past few years our community and its independent governance has faced enormous uncertainty.

But in recent days not only did the NSW Government decide not to proceed with the forced merger of Hunters Hill Council with the City of Ryde and Lane Cove Council but the Court of Appeal in a landmark decision last week also ruled that “the proposal made by the Minister for Local Government under Section 218E(1) of the Local Government Act 1993 for the amalgamation of Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde Local Government Areas is invalid”.

Further, the Court of Appeal has also ordered that the Minister pay Hunters Hill Council’s costs of the original hearing before the Land and Environment Court and the subsequent Court of Appeal hearing.

This is a victory for grass roots democracy.

I now call on the NSW Government to enshrine in legislation the requirement for a poll or plebiscite in any future merger proposals by supporting the Referendums Bill.

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I WOULD like to gratefully acknowledge the resolve of my fellow Councillors who supported the Council’s legal battle and the extraordinary commitment of the Save Hunters Hill Municipality Coalition (SHHMC) and the unrelenting political advocacy of Save Our Councils Coalition (SOCC) and The Weekly Times.

I also commend the professionalism of Council officers and staff who have continued to perform their duties admirably during a period of ongoing uncertainty about their future.

This has been a huge joint effort by the Council, the staff and the local community, united in a common purpose and a shared vision for our future.

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OUR ANNUAL Moocooboola Festival was again a fantastic event this year with a great atmosphere celebrating the wonderful community we have here in Hunters Hill.

The event would not be possible without the tireless work of the Council Events Team and Outdoor staff and in particular Esther Barra who co-ordinated the festival for the first time this year.

I would also like to thank the team of volunteers who participate in Council’s Events Committee who help plan the event and the volunteers on the day who ensure the smooth running of the event. Council is also particularly thankful for the financial support given to the event from our partners URM and the Hunters Hill Hotel. Thanks also to the many local dance groups, school groups, bands and other performers that entertained us all day and the many stall holders who participated.

Riverfest 2017 is being held this Saturday August 12 from 12 noon to 4pm at the Duck River Picnic Area, Auburn Botanic Gardens, Chiswick Road, Auburn.

This is a free fun event for the whole family including: the launch of The Painted River art project; live entertainment including the Pinks; and meet some of the Wests Tigers players. For more information and to book, visit: OLR_Riverfest2017.eventbrite.com.au.

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A REMINDER that Local Council Elections will be held on Saturday September 9.

Nominations closed at noon today (Wednesday August 9) and the candidates will be announced later today.

To see who the candidates are and for information on early voting options visit www.votensw.info.

In Hunters Hill there are two wards and three Councillors are elected to represent each ward, with the Mayor elected separately.

Voting is compulsory. It’s a good time to check your enrolment details are up to date and sign up for an election reminder so you never miss an election: www.votensw.info .

You can also phone 1300 135 736.