A map showing a series of proposed council mergers indicates that Wingecarribee and Wollondilly Shires will avoid any moves to amalgamate, despite the state government slashing by 40 the number of councils across NSW.
The Premier Mike Baird and Local Government Minister Paul Toole today briefed councils on their fate, and reiterated the financial incentives on offer for councils that do amalgamate.
The Premier also said amalgamations would be referred to the Boundaries Commission under existing rules, squashing rumours that a revised local government act would grant the Minister widespread new powers.
While Wingecarribee will avoid this process, proposed mergers in a number of neighbouring councils will come before the Commission in the new year. Amongst these are: Goulburn Mulwaree swallowing part of Palerang; Shellharbour and Wollongong to merge; and Kiama and Shoalhaven to merge.
To accommodate the timetable for mergers, it is likely local government elections scheduled for September 2016 will take place in March 2017 instead.
In Sydney, 43 councils will be amalgamated into 25, while in regional NSW there is a target of 87 councils, down from 109 currently.
Full proposals will be available later today on a new website.