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  • Wrong fit in regions

    2018 - 07.03

    The current push by certain NSW government operatives for council amalgamations reeks of the same process engineered by, in particular, the Hawke-Keating governments and, most importantly, the Kennett government.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The Hawke-Keating governments employed Professor Fred Hilmer to create the Hilmer Report to justify their regionalisation push.

    The Hilmer strategy reflected the process implemented by Joseph Stalin where regions were created, with a regional commissioner controlling it and reporting directly to the centralised government.

    Premier Kennett worked hand in hand with the then federal Labor government to conduct a trial regionalisation experiment on the unfortunate Victorian people.

    His legacy as premier was a regionalisation taste of things to come for the rest of Australia, if the federal government had its way.

    The Hawke-Keating regionalisation plan seemingly failed but sowed the seeds for the future, where, in particular, certain state governments would adopt the template, refine and rebadge it under various titles, such as the current NSW Fit for the Future.

    Amalgamation stage 2 is flowing from the first round, some years ago, seeing small councils absorbed by predominantly major city councils.

    Now called Fit for the Future, it’s all pushed from the top tier of the NSW government by a shadowy group of figures whose names have figured prominently during past amalgamation agendas.

    The so-called government-appointed Independent Fit for the Future Committee is composed of persons with a definite amalgamation agenda.

    They are effectively pro-amalgamation guns for hire, using the so-called Fit for the Future concept to steer unsuspecting councils towards the agenda of vested interests.

    Vested interests include mining, with Liverpool Plains Shire Council a particular example.

    If Gunnedah absorbs Quirindi, it can expect to be overwhelmed by Gunnedah-based vested interests extremely focused on achieving Liverpool Plains mining projects, regardless of community opposition.

    The stakes are high and the ones concerned will go to any lengths to achieve it – and a dominant Gunnedah council would make it easier.

    The NSW council amalgamation agenda is being directed from the top governmental tier, not by the councils or the people of the community.

    This process has been bipartisan but it is particularly dangerous with a current Premier with a strong investment banking background.

    It is dangerous because investment banks fund the mining industry, it’s as simple as that.

    This issue has slipped under the radar pre-NSW election, so if you want to save your community from being absorbed for all the wrong reasons, make your vote count and elect a strong, honest, unaligned representative for the lower house and upper house.

    Interestingly, all through the forced amalgamation process, just like the coal/CSG mining issues, the self-proclaimed rural representatives, The Nationals, have stood on the sidelines, wrung their hands and given lip service – so don’t rely on them.

    The recent federal senate is a prime example, when they walked out on protecting the Liverpool Plains from mining.

    If local government goes under pressure of regionalisation, community as we know it will cease to exist.

    So, March 28, stand up and make your vote count.

    Jim Guider

    Tamworth

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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