Scroll down for regional reaction across the state
Breaking: NSW Govt slashing 43 city councils to 25, 109 regional councils to 87. Maps available shortly. #noforcedamalgamations— Local Government NSW (@lgnsw) December 17, 2015
Sydney's councils will be reduced from 43 to 25 and regional councils will be reduced from 109 to 87 under the NSW government's plans to reshape local government.
Briefing mayors this morning, Premier Mike Baird said he understood that change was never easy, but the government considered there were significant benefits to be had from larger councils.
"KPMG has looked at the proposals and they say there is $2 billion in benefits that come back to councils," Mr Baird said.
"It's about delivering better services, more infrastructure and downward pressure on rates.
"We want to work with every council to ensure there is downward pressure on rates."
Local Government Minister Paul Toole described the changes as a "historic day".
"This is about some of the biggest changes we have seen in 100 years. It's about putting communities and infrastructure first," he said.
Mr Baird said it was likely that council elections would need to be moved from September 2016 to March 2017, although the government was still aiming for the earlier date.
A delegate of the Boundaries Commission will conduct the public inquiry into individual mergers and provide an initial report to the commission.
The commission will make a recommendation to government and Mr Toole will then make the final declaration. Public submissions can be made to the delegate.
Members of the commission will be announced in 2016.
Check out reaction from regional NSW
- Newcastle and Port Stephens merge in shock change
- Wollongong, Shellharbour councils to merge
- Orange City Council to merge with Blayney and Cabonne
- Lithgow City Council escapes amalgamation
- Bathurst and Oberon councils to merge
- Dubbo, Wellington merge
- Maitland to stand alone; Dungog and Gloucester to merge
- Walcha and Guyra shires to merge
- Lockhart joins Corowa and Urana in merger
- Great Lakes Council will stand alone in local government shake-up
- Kempsey Shire Council will not merge
- Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to stand alone
- Shoalhaven - Kiama council merger - Gash unsure how it would work
- Cootamundra to merge with Gundagai
- Griffith City Council to stand alone
- Goulburn Mulwaree, part of Palerang to merge
10.20am: The regional and rural council mergers as proposed by the NSW government.