Extraordinary Council Meeting





Extraordinary Council Meeting

10 May 2022


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1          Acknowledgement of Country


2          Apologies


3          Notice of Webcasting


4          Disclosures of Interest


5          Moment of Quiet Contemplation



6          Public Forum – Hearing from All Registered Speakers

7          Notices of Motion



ITEM                                                                                                                                      Page 


C0522(2) Item 1  Notice of Motion: Demerger of Inner West Council                                      4

Extraordinary Council Meeting

10 May 2022



Item No:         C0522(2) Item 1

Subject:         Notice of Motion: Demerger of Inner West Council               

From:             Councillors John Stamolis, Justine Langford and Liz Atkins  




That Council:   


1.   Notes that 62.5 % of the Inner West community voted to demerge Inner West Council to restore the three previous Councils (Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville) and that the result of the poll was a majority vote across ALL five existing wards and ALL three previous Councils;


2.   Notes that the Demerger Poll was run by the NSW Electoral Commission in which there were 104,219 formal votes;


3.   Notes that the Demerger Poll has the support of the majority of the community and that our community reasonably expects that Council will prepare a strong and effective business case for the demerger of Inner West Council;


4.   Notes that the NSW Minister for Local Government, The Hon. Wendy Tuckerman MP has confirmed that NSW Government will pay for the cost of the demerger;


5.   Ensures that the community, Councillors and local government experts have close oversight of the development of Council’s business case for the demerger;


6.   Establishes a Demerger Committee to oversee the development of the demerger business case and invites Councillors, community members and local government experts to be active members of this Committee;


7.   Provides any documents such as Terms of Reference for the development of the demerger business case, the Consultant’s Brief or other;  immediately to Councillors and the Demerger Committee, and to make these documents publicly available;


8.   Invites the Demerger Committee to review and amend any documents associated with the development of the demerger business case, including any brief to consultants, to ensure:  


a)   They outline the development of a strong and positive business case which reflects the desire of our community to demerge; and


b)   They adhere to the NSW Government Guidelines for business cases which includes the provision that there is stakeholder engagement.   


9.   Reviews the demerger process timeline as outlined by the General Manager at the residents’ meeting on April 7, taking on board the NSW Government business case guidelines about consultation with Councillors and community; and utilising professional expertise in the preparation of a strong and effective business case;


10. Convenes public meetings across the three former Councils to consult the community on the demerger process and to summarise details of the business case which will support the outcome of the demerger poll; and


11. Provide fortnightly updates on progress with the demerger case on Council’s website.   





With a very high response to the Demerger Poll (104,219 voters), 62.5% of Inner West voters want Inner West Council to demerge.  It is now time for Council to prepare a strong and positive business case to reflect the wishes of its community.    

A well-attended community meeting on April 7 heard, for the first time, the process that Council currently has underway to develop the demerger case that will go to the NSW government.   

Residents were rightly concerned that both they and their elected representatives, the Councillors, have not been consulted on the process for developing the demerger business case, nor have they been consulted on the appointment of consultant; nor the consultant’s brief; nor the terms of reference for the development of demerger business case.    

The General Manager told the community meeting that the same consultants as used by Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield Councils (in 2015) to argue against the amalgamation of their Councils would be used.  Furthermore, the consultants would be using the same methodology as they used then; which failed in arguing the case against amalgamation.    

There appears to have been no attempt by Council to review these terms of reference and methodology, to seek alternative consultants, consult with the Councillors and the public nor to consult and seek advice from local government experts.    

The best chance for a successful business case for demerger is if the process is fully transparent, inclusive and openly consults with the community.  It needs to involve Councillors, residents and experts in the development of the case.  



Officer’s Comments:


No further comments were required for this Notice of Motion.