Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Short Term Win For Residents: A Win for Voters and Residents Strathfield and Auburn

Mr Shoebridge called the consent orders “a disaster for Mike Baird” and said councils embroiled in court cases with the state government on merger proposals would be scrutinising delegates’ reports particularly closely in the light of this.
“When a government tries to do a job on local communities and cut legal corners and rush through an undemocratic process it is no wonder they trip up,” Mr Shoebridge said. Veteran Journalist of SMH fame now with the Australian: Mark Coultan

Canterbury Bankstown interim general manager Matthew Stewart and newly appointed administrator Richard Colley.(... Canadabay.nsw.gov.au)

A forced merger between Sydney councils Strathfield, Burwood and Canada Bay has been halted in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court. Strathfield Council challenged the merger in the Land and Environment Court and today the State Government withdrew from the case. The court heard there were legal flaws in the report from the State Government appointed delegate who examined the proposal for merging the councils. Local Government Minister Paul Toole said he expected the delegate to reissue the report.

"Now it's up to the delegate to go back out there, look at this matter and reissue this report," he said. "Once it comes back to me I will look at it in detail before making a final decision."
The Minister could not give a timeframe on when that decision would be, only saying he "expects this to happen very quickly". Canada Bay ... on Our ABC

The state government's push for council amalgamations has suffered a major setback.
The state government's council amalgamation agenda is set to come under more scrutiny after Strathfield Council elected to push on with its case against the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole, saying  "serious matters"  had emerged from documents produced by the NSW government. Earlier, the government had agreed to settle the case after conceding a flaw in the Boundaries Commission report on Strathfield, Burwood and Canada Bay Councils.  The minister described it as a "legal technicality".
Council amalgamations: government push for mergers suffers setback

In a potentially explosive development for the Baird government, the Land and Environment Court has ordered it to provide documents about the role KPMG played in implementing the council amalgamation agenda. Strathfield Council and others are alleging a serious misrepresentation by the Baird government after discovering that KPMG has been involved in devising the merger proposals as early as July 2015 – before the government announced it was proceeding with forced amalgamations – yet it was deemed the independent arbiter of the financial benefits of the mergers.
Council amalgamations Baird government ordered to reveal KPMGs role in mergers

A merger between Burwood, Canada Bay and Strathfield Councils has been postponed after the Land and Environment Court ruled the NSW government could not rely on the Boundaries Commission’s report to make a merger case.

NSW Local Government Minister Paul Toole was forced into an embarrassing climb down today (Tuesday) as the court ordered that he should not to rely on delegate Richard Colley’s report on the merger between the three Sydney Councils. The Minister was also ordered to pay Strathfield Council’s costs. Costs Paid By Residents of the Fragile Castle
Three-council merger postponed; Baird cops court costs

NSW council merger plan suffers setback

Backflipping: Not so long ago, in the land of Clyde. A Castle like Victory  (John Drake and Allan Brzoson) was celebrated  and then ... The law was changed:
The contentious Collex aka Veolia proposal for a waste terminal in western Sydney is again in doubt after the Opposition yesterday withdrew support for legislation overturning a court victory by two residents who opposed the plan.
After a day of behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, the Opposition Leader, John Brogden, vowed to oppose the legislation in the NSW upper house and attempt to force it to an upper house committee for further investigation.
Residents Win and Then they Lose

In a judgement last Friday, Justice Neal Bignold found significant environmental (North shore garbage goes west) problems with the development of the Clyde facility. He upheld concerns that transporting waste to the station would have a major impact on air quality around Auburn and that transportation costs l be passed on to Sydney ratepayers. (Government bully-boys attack judiciary)
Justice Bignold congratulated the two plaintiffs, saying they demonstrated an "extraordinary mastery, as essentially lay persons, of the complex issues raised by the proposal in all of its dimensions: scientific, technical, social, environmental and political".
Mr Drake said yesterday: "It shows ordinary people can take on councils and governments and win.". Clyde Waste Terminal (Drake &. Ors; Auburn Council v Minister for Planning and Anor; Collex Pty Ltd ...
But in the year-long court case, reminiscent of the plot of The Castle, residents John Drake and Allan Brzoson scuttled the transfer station, putting Woodlawn's commercial viability in doubt.

CODA: Council assisting the inquiry Paul Bolster said the inquiry would examine several controversial zoning decisions, disappearing council files, why "not one but two" fires struck a property connected to Mr Mehajer's family and "extraordinary largesse" shown to Mr Mehajer in a controversial deal involving a council car park.
But the most striking of the evidence of the day came after it was revealed Mr Francis alleged that cupboards in his home to the value of about $2000 were paid for by Auburn councillor and three-time former mayor Ronney Oueik, who had arranged tradesmen to remodel Mr Francis' kitchen.  "Mr Francis attempted to pay for the [cupboard carpentry] and he refused," Mr Bolster said. "He [Oueik] said to Mr Francis it was a gift and he wanted to help the family." Other tradesmen were paid by Mr Francis, in cash, the inquiry was told. 
Mr Francis, who reported the gift only this year, is at the centre of an ongoing issue relating to a building constructed by a company owned by Mr Oueik, BBC Developments Auburn council coloured pencils used to redraw zoning protocols inquiry told