Super councils on Chamber's agenda

THE setting up of super councils is just one idea in a top 10 list of big ticket items to invigorate NSW.

The NSW Business Chamber has compiled the list after policy symposiums with 500 business brains, community leaders, academics and government representatives.

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally and Opposition leader Barry O’Farrell will be guest speakers at the launch of the list, at the Sydney Mint Museum today.

NSW Business Chamber chief executive officer Stephen Cartwright said the State should follow the example set by Victoria and Queensland and trim back council numbers.

The move could see an amalgamation of the three councils here on the Coffs Coast – Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Nambucca.

“We need larger councils with more powers and better financing with full-time representatives who focus on bigger issues, rather than inefficient smaller councils that aren’t delivering for local communities,” Mr Cartwright said.

“We need to have a great emphasis on peak and off-peak pricing in public transport, peak and off-peak tolls.”

The 10 big ideas list also highlights a desire to end the blame game over hospital funding by supporting Federal Government’s takeover plan.

“State Government budgets are in the long-term unsustainable due to the costs associated with an ageing population,” Mr Cartwright said.

“We believe only the Federal Government has the right tax base to fund social and economic burden in the future.”

Other ideas include incentives for businesses to relocate to regional NSW and establishing an infrastructure body to work out project priorities at an arm’s-length from government.

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