HUNTERS HILL Council on Monday night applauded the Court of Appeal decision to uphold Kuring-gai Council’s case against a forced merger with Hornsby.
Councillors also blasted the State Liberal Government’s Monday night announcement to proceed with forced mergers and noted the Court ruling was critical of the government’s failure to release a KPMG report used to justify the forced mergers on cost saving grounds.
Ryde’s Liberal MP Victor Dominello and Lane Cove’s Liberal MP Anthony Roberts were singled out for criticism by councillors who described the court ruling as a victory for people power.
“Our own local representatives have not listened to us, they’ve failed us and we have had to rely on the courts,” Clr Dr Meredith Sheil said.
“But this court ruling is a wonderful vindication of the power of the people and of the remarkable solidarity our community has shown.”
Deputy Mayor Clr Mark Bennett singled out Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts for criticism because his electorate includes Hunters Hill, where more than 85 per cent of ratepayers oppose a forced merger.
“We haven’t seen the local member for four years and he should be here, selling his case to be re-elected for the next four years,” Clr Bennett said.
“This will cost the Liberals a lot of votes and I think it has had a negative impact on the Federal Liberal Government, just look at the (Liberal) Prime Minister’s approval rating !”
Councillor Peter Astridge noted the costs of the Kuring-gai appeal will have to be met by taxpayers, not ratepayers.
“The Berejiklian Government will have to fork out the cost of this appeal .. it was the State Government which started this and now it is the courts who are stopping it.”
Save Hunters Hill Municipality Coalition spokesman Phil Jenkyn spoke at the meeting and praised the stand taken by The Weekly Times to support local readers.