NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole last week said that 19 new councils will work harder for residents and deliver better services and community facilities throughout the state.
"The most comprehensive local government reform in more than 100 years will result in 19 new councils beginning operations from today," Mr Baird said in a statement last week.
In principle, the Minister for Local Government supports creating a further nine councils, subject to decisions of the courts.
"Our plan to create stronger new councils in Sydney and regional NSW will be supported by NSW Government investment of about $500 million," Mr Baird said.
"We are ensuring our communities have stronger and more efficient councils, which will free up money for important projects such as local roads, parks, playgrounds and footpaths.
The rate protection policy commitment means residents of new councils will pay no more for their rates than they would have under their old council for four years.
"Reducing waste and red tape through local government mergers could free up close to $2 billion over the next 20 years, allowing councils to fund better services and new infrastructure for communities or lower rates."
The Government will conduct a review in four years to ensure the community was continuing to benefit from stronger councils, Mr Baird said.
Mr Toole said it will be business as usual for residents in new council areas, with services operating as normal.
Each new council will receive up to $10 million to meet the costs of merging and up to an additional $15 million to kick start new investment in community infrastructure through the Stronger Communities Fund, Mr Toole said.
"New councils and their communities will decide how to spend their community funds. Projects could include pools, libraries, sporting fields, car park expansions or grants to junior sporting groups," Mr Toole said.
Mr Toole thanked delegates who examined the proposals and the Boundaries Commission for its important work.
Many people have taken the opportunity to have their say during the consultation process, by speaking at inquiries or making written submissions.
"The NSW Government has listened to community concerns and created new wards that reflect the identity of existing communities," Mr Toole said.
Mr Toole said that residents should also feel confident that planning protections would remain in place with existing Local Environmental Plans remaining in force under the new councils.
An Administrator and an interim General Manager have been appointed to new councils ahead of council elections on 9 September 2017.
The nineteen new councils are:
- Armidale Regional Council : The merger of Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra Shire councils
- Canterbury-Bankstown Council : The merger of Bankstown City and Canterbury City councils
- Central Coast Council : The merger of Gosford City and Wyong Shire councils
- City of Parramatta Council : The merger of Parramatta City*, The Hills Shire*, Auburn City*, Holroyd City* and Hornsby Shire* councils
- Cumberland Council : The merger of Parramatta City*, Auburn City* and Holroyd City* councils
- Edward River Council : The merger of Conargo Shire and Deniliquin councils
- Federation Council : The merger of Corowa Shire and Urana Shire councils
- Georges River Council : The merger of Hurstville City and Kogarah City councils
- Gundagai Council : The merger of Cootamundra Shire and Gundagai Shire councils
- Hilltops Council : The merger of Boorowa, Harden Shire and Young Shire councils
- Inner West Council : The merger of Ashfield, Leichhardt Municipal and Marrickville councils
- Mid-Coast Council : The merger of Gloucester Shire, Great Lakes and Greater Taree City councils
- Murray River Council : The merger of Murray Shire and Wakool Shire councils
- Murrumbidgee Council : The merger of Jerilderie Shire and Murrumbidgee Shire councils
- Northern Beaches Council : The merger of Manly, Pittwater and Warringah councils
- Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council : The merger of Palerang and Queanbeyan City councils
- Snowy Monaro Regional Council : The merger of Bombala, Cooma-Monaro Shire and Snowy River Shire councils
- Snowy Valleys Council : The merger of Tumbarumba Shire and Tumut Shire councils
- Western Plains Regional Council : The merger of Dubbo City and Wellington councils
Where an * is displayed next to a council name this means it is a part of that council area.