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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Review of voluntary amalgamation options of Sorell and Tasman Council (2018)

In September 2016, KPMG delivered the South East Feasibility Study which contained modelling for amalgamation options involving Sorell, Tasman, Clarence City, and Glamorgan-Spring Bay Councils.  The study indicated that all modelled amalgamation options involving the councils would provide a positive financial return.  The study was commissioned on the basis of voluntary decisions by all four councils to enter into this process, with the support of the State Government.

At the formal request of Sorell and Tasman Councils, the Hon Peter Gutwein MP, Minister for Planning and Local Government, authorised the Local Government Board to undertake a review into potential voluntary amalgamation options for these councils.

Clarence City Council has recently indicated that it wishes to pursue a Greater Hobart strategic alliance and will not formally be a part of the Board’s review of amalgamation options for the South East. Glamorgan-Spring Bay Council has deferred a decision regarding its participation in the Board’s review until its next Ordinary Meeting in late January 2018.

Pending the decision by Glamorgan-Spring Bay Council, the Board is progressing a review into amalgamation and further resource-sharing options for Sorell and Tasman Councils. The Board’s review will include the due diligence and public consultation as required by the Local Government Act 1993 and directed by the Terms of Reference. The guiding principles for considering voluntary amalgamations as set out in the Terms of Reference include that any reform must:

  • Be in the interests of ratepayers;
  • Improve the level of service for communities;
  • Preserve and maintain local representation; and
  • Ensure that the financial status of the entities is strengthened.

Once completed, the Board will produce a report for the Minister which will contain its findings and recommendations.  The Minister will then, in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993, forward the finalised report to participating and affected councils for submissions before making a decision on the Board’s recommendations.

The Board will provide further detail on its consultation approach in the near future to ensure any person with an interest in the Board’s work, and the future of the council area in which they live, has an opportunity to have their say. The Board has been requested to provide its written report to the Minister by 30 May 2018

Please direct any enquiries regarding the review to the Local Government Board either by telephone on (03) 6232 7022 or by email to lgboard@dpac.tas.gov.au