Abbott and Baird sitting in a tree, A.M.A.L.G.A.M.A.T.I.N.G.
The Abbott government has again demonstrated how out of touch it is with community sentiment when in the Senate today they supported the forced amalgamation policy of the NSW Baird government.
The Greens motion to support the right of communities to determine the future of their own local councils was defeated on the combined vote of the Liberal, National and Labor parties.
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said: “The anti-democratic forced amalgamation plan has been given the stamp of approval by the Abbott government.
“While losing the vote on this key democratic measure is disappointing I am sure the ‘Save Our Councils’ movement will be even more fired up now they know that they are fighting the increasingly unpopular Abbott government.
“The Senate vote also revealed that federal Labor is in disarray on this critical NSW issue. They appeared unable to support their state colleagues who are opposing forced amalgamations.
Greens NSW local government spokesperson David Shoebridge said: “This was a missed chance for the Commonwealth parliament to stand up for local democracy and take a solid stance against forced amalgamations.
“In the NSW Parliament every party except the Nationals and Liberals opposes forced amalgamations.
“Given NSW Labor’s strong opposition to forced amalgamations it’s more than a little surprising to see Federal Labor siding with Abbott in voting down the Greens’ motion.
“Whether in Victoria, Queensland or the Northern Territory, everywhere amalgamations have been forced on residents the results have been the same: more bureaucracy, higher rates and less democracy.
“Every Parliament in the country, whether State, Territory or Federal needs to stand up for the rights of ordinary residents to determine the future of their local councils,” Mr Shoebridge said.
Brami Jegan for Senator Rhiannon 0487 350 880
David Shoebridge 9230 3030