Local Government NSW president and Coffs Harbour City councillor, Keith Rhoades has hit back at the Minister for Local Government Paul Toole’s plan to force council’s affected by mergers to reapply for their jobs.
Local Government NSW president and Coffs Harbour City councillor, Keith Rhoades has hit back at the Minister for Local Government Paul Toole’s plan to force council’s affected by mergers to reapply for their jobs. Trevor Veale

Council merger mess continues

LOCAL Government NSW president Keith Rhoades has described the State Government's plan to force councillors and general managers of amalgamating councils to reapply for their jobs as "bully boy tactics".

Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole made the announcement stating that affected councils had until April 15 to reapply for their jobs.

Cr Rhoades, as a long-standing Coffs Harbour City councillor, said the plan "flies in the face of absolute democracy".

"The Premier and our minister did not elect those councillors in those councils affected by mergers," Cr Rhoades said.

The move comes as processes are under way by both the Boundary Commission and some council delegates to report back to the minister about merger proposals.

Cr Rhoades said he was concerned Mr Toole's announcement hinted at the minister's disregard for democratic processes.

"The minister has the power to reject the opinions of the Boundaries Commission and the delegates, they both might be right but if he wants to bulldoze his way through this he can say I don't agree with your report and still go ahead and do what he wants to do," Cr Rhoades said.

"We have a minister and a premier who are prepared to sacrifice democracy to get their own way when there are so many MPs opposed to it."

Coffs Harbour City Council general manager Steve McGrath said the appointment of new executive must be well-thought.

"There needs to be a fair, open and transparent process to appoint the most suitable general manager or CEO," he said.



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