Hills State Liberal MPs David Elliott, Dominic Perrottet, Ray Williams and Mark Taylor today congratulated The Hills Shire Council on their assessment by the Independent Pricing And Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) on being classed as ‘fit for the future’ as a Local Government.
Mr Elliott said the assessment of The Hills as the only Council in north western Sydney as being financially secure was an indicator of the hard work performed to bring Council’s finances under control.
“Twenty years ago, Hills Shire Council was looking at insolvency,” Mr Elliott said.
“In that time, successive Councils have taken hard decisions in the interests of ratepayers and that has made The Hills Shire one of the best placed Councils in NSW for continuing in its present state.”
Mr Perrottet said the streamlining of services was one of the major factors in The Hills Shire returning to financial stability.
“The Hills Shire Council has continued to examine other options and they deserve to be applauded for their open-minded approach to improving outcomes for ratepayers,” Mr Perrottet said.
Mr Williams said the fact the Hills Shire is surrounded by “unfit” Councils indicated how difficult the landscape was for such a large number of Councils.
“The majority of Councils in Sydney are unfit, showing that tough decisions need to be made,” Mr Williams said.
“Four years of independent research, analysis and State Government consultation with councils and the community has shown that the current system of local government is not working as well as it should be.”
Mr Taylor said it was important for Council to follow the lead of The Hills in streamlining their operations to ensure their future sustainability.
“This IPART report shows the situation is now critical and that action is needed to ensure ratepayers get value for money and the services and infrastructure they deserve as they do in The Hills Shire,” Mr Taylor said
“IPART still found that greater benefits would be realised from including neighbouring councils in these mergers.”
The NSW Government will now give councils a 30-day consultation opportunity to inform the Government’s position on local government reform and respond to these IPART findings.