Councils merge: The state rearranges local government

 Premier Mike Baird, centre, and Local Government Minister Paul Toole, right.

Premier Mike Baird, centre, and Local Government Minister Paul Toole, right.

Scroll down for regional reaction across the state

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

10.20am: The regional and rural council mergers as proposed by the NSW government.