BOB BALDWIN URGES BAIRD GOVERNMENT TO RETHINK COUNCIL MERGER

Paterson MP Bob Baldwin has weighed in on the state government’s proposal to merge Port Stephens and Newcastle councils, saying the Baird Government should rethink the merger.

Mr Baldwin made a speech to Federal Parliament last night in opposition to the proposal.

He believes an amalagamation makes no sense, and that Port Stephens is better off as a single entity.

“Port Stephens Council has been declared fit for the future by the New South Wales government. It has met each and every benchmark, whether it is financial, of scale and capacity requirement or operating at a healthy surplus. That is because Port Stephens Council, over the decades, has built very strong commercial investments and alternative revenue streams, which keeps the rating base very affordable. That is in stark contrast to Newcastle council, which has been a financial basket case,” he said.

Community submissions to the council boundary review close this Sunday.