Left-Right Amalgamation

It’s on again. There’s talk of an amalgamation of local Councils.

An unlikely coalition of 10 SA industry groups and the Labor Right-aligned Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association will meet to advocate a policy for amalgamation to be submitted to the State Government.
The industry groups say that there are inconsistent regulations between councils and this was a handbrake on new investment. In plain speak, the industry wants bigger Councils and reduced red tape and less control by Council. They don’t want a level playing field, they want it tilted in their favour. This would not be good governance and would disadvantage the local communities. Let’s not forget that Councils exist to serve their communities.
And why is the Labor Right-aligned Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (Union) involved? They've been conned into believing that amalgamations will reduce rates and put more money in the pockets of working families.
If this coalition of Left-Right groups looks at recent history (back in 1997) they will see that past amalgamations did not result in savings that resulted in spare cash in the residents’ pockets.
Both of these industry and Union groups in their press exposure expressed fears and perceptions of wasted money. In other words, they have not done any research to substantiate their fears and perceptions.
Fortunately, we are lucky to have a Minister for Local Government (Geoff Brock) who is not easily hoodwinked.
According to The Advertiser … A spokeswoman for Mr Brock said the Government was not in favour of forced amalgamations but “does support councils looking at ways to share expertise and resources”. She went on to say “The minister is also keen to consult with the local government sector about how the council boundary change mechanism and related processes in the Local Government Act can be improved to better serve the needs of local communities,” the spokeswoman said.

Having been through this before (in 1997) and it was stressful, I call upon the coalition of industry and Union groups to do a bit of homework, crank out some financial modelling and present a rational proposal – rather than climb onto the roof and call out Amalgamate! Amalgamate! Amalgamate!


  1. I believe that you would prefer 'peer reviewed' financial modelling to be conducted.


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