Mayor rejects transfer of city's growth areas

LIVERPOOL could lose half its existing area and amalgamate with Fairfield and Bankstown councils under a recommendation by the Independent Local Government Review released last week.

The paper proposes a greatly expanded Liverpool Council to support the Liverpool regional centre envisaged in the draft Metropolitan Strategy.

But to better integrate the South West growth Centre, the paper said transferring the western part of the existing Liverpool local government area to Camden should be considered.

Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun said if the proposal happened, his local government area would effectively be halved, losing suburbs like Leppington, Edmondson Park, Austral and other areas identified in the South West Growth Centre.

"Liverpool is the capital of western Sydney, we are putting a city the size of Canberra in our backyard," he said.

"All of the planning we have done for the last few years has been in preparation for the development of the SWGC, if they cut off our growth area they will weaken us as a regional city and send Liverpool back a long way."

Cr Mannoun said the review should discuss ways to give local government more power rather than focus on optional merges.

"Councils have been encouraged to merge under the incentive that rate pegging would be lifted," he said.

"But I don't see how it will strategically benefit Liverpool if we merge with Fairfield or Bankstown. Further, I don't want to put the rates up. Council has always worked with what it has and even if we took rate pegging off tomorrow I still would not support any major increase."

Liverpool Council acting general manager Julie Hately said the review was only a discussion paper at this stage and until more details were made available, it was premature to speculate on its contents.

She said the council would conduct research into the proposed models and make its submission by June 28.

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