Councillors take stand against Kiama merger

Renewed talk of council amalgamations has prompted Kiama Municipal Council to "get on the front foot" in a bid to protect its borders.

The NSW government's Independent Local Government Review was launched in May, with a review panel chaired by Professor Graham Sansom scheduled to present its final report in July next year.

The issue of "consolidation" of local government areas across Sydney and the Illawarra has been raised in a discussion paper that is part of the review.

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Over the years Kiama has been mentioned in debates as being part of a broader Illawarra council or even merged with, or divided between, Shellharbour and Shoalhaven councils.

This week, Kiama councillors were united in opposition to any talk of amalgamation and resolved to give the Kiama community every opportunity to voice concerns over any attempts to merge Kiama council.

Councillor Andrew Sloan said there were "so many things about Kiama that make it unique".

"More than 90 per cent of Kiama residents oppose amalgamation and I fear the minister is starting to suggest he would put forced amalgamations back on the agenda," Cr Sloan said.

"Now is the time to make our position well known.

"I think there is a risk if we don't say something now - and we need to point out the benefits to our local community of keeping Kiama independent, small and separate."

Councillor Warren Steel said the council needed to "get on the front foot and not sit back".

The council resolved to allow petitions opposing forced amalgamations to be placed in Kiama council facilities.

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