Local government amalgamations are back on the table following the re-election of the Gutwein Liberal Government.
Premier Peter Gutwein commented during the leaders’ debate in late April that he would look to introduce financial incentives for councils to amalgamate.
The prospect of council amalgamations is bad news for regional communities right across the state.
The ASU opposes amalgamations. Amalgamations almost never deliver the promised savings, risk the loss of tailored services for local communities, and break the connection between communities and their Council.
Time and time again we hear the benefits of reduced costs for amalgamated councils, but the research suggests that this just doesn’t stack up. Historically, amalgamated Councils end up employing more middle managers to manage more complex workforces, and the senior leadership team always get a nice boost to their salary too, meaning staffing costs alone increase dramatically.
29 Councils is not too many for Tasmania. We need to ensure decision-makers hear our message about the importance of local services in vastly spread regional centres and small towns.
We’ll be launching a campaign focussed on saving local jobs in local government. We’ve just completed a research paper which will inform our campaign work.
Keep an ear out for further action on this campaign. We’ll be calling on members to get active to make sure secure local jobs remain in local government.