BREAKING: Shellharbour loses legal case against council merger

Shellharbour council’s legal case against the NSW Government’s plans to force a merger with Wollongong City Council has been dismissed.

In a judgement handed down on Tuesday afternoon, Land and Environment Court judge, Justice Tim Moore said there was “no defect in the process for this proposed amalgamation”.

He ordered Shellharbour to pay the government’s costs.

The judgement in the NSW Government’s favour means Local Government Minister Paul Toole can now go ahead with the planned merger.

It is understood however, that he will refrain from making a proclamation to enact the amalgamation for at least a week.

Shellharbour council could lodge an appeal and therefore further delay the merger.

Justice Moore also dismissed legal action from Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ku-ring-gai councils.

However, he found "defects" in reports prepared by delegates into the proposed mergers of local governments involving Mosman, North Sydney and Strathfield councils.

With regard to these councils, they could still be merged, but the Boundaries Commission would have to redo sections of reports and inquiries that recommended their mergers. 

More to come.

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