Call for IPART to release full reviews of councils
THE Greens have challenged the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to issue each NSW local council with the criteria used to push them to amalgamate.
More than half of regional councils were deemed unfit for the future in IPART's review despite many making the grade on financial viability.
They fell short on scale and capacity: a test many councils have since said was never properly explained.
Greens MP David Shoebridge said uncovering what the test involved was the crux of his call to IPART.
"It's fundamentally a challenge to IPART to release all of its workings," he said.
"We know they have done detailed assessments of both financial sustainability and the so-called scale and capacity.
"Clearly councils and residents have the right to know how IPART did the assessment."
Mr Shoebridge said local governments across the state were stunned to learn they were considered unviable.
"There are mayors from Bega to the Tweed who are mystified about how IPART arrived at their conclusions," he said.
"If they have faith in their analysis and their workings, show it to us.
"IPART has a skill-set of assessing financial matters, for the bulk supply of things like electricity and water.
"They don't have any established competency to judge the fitness of a local council.
"Asking IPART to assess local councils is like getting an accountant to judge a horse."
Councils have until November 26 to respond to IPART's review and gain a raft of financial incentives by volunteering for mergers.