In a survey report that cost 180 million yuan, the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel (NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel) proposed that if the 152 local governments in NSW were merged, it would significantly improve work efficiency and save money. However, Governor Barry O'Farrell refused to do so.
The report is titled "Rejuvenating Local Governments: NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel Summary Report. The survey was commissioned by the Governor of Professor Graham Sansom to predict the development prospects of local governments in the next two years.
Professor Sansom’s report stated that “sooner or later, the assembly of all districts in the state will be integrated” and pointed out that “New South Wales cannot maintain the existence of 152 local governments, most of which rely on state financial subsidies to operate”. In some regions, each councillor is responsible for a population of less than 150 people, and in some regions, there are more than XNUMX people.
报告还特别提到各地区居民缴纳的人均市政费不平等现象。如彭里斯（Penrith）、霹雳镇（Blacktown）和金宝镇 （Campbelltown）的人均市政费分别为957元、808元和817元，而更富裕地区如北悉尼和库灵盖（Ku-ring-gai）的人均市政费却 分别只有484元和591元。
“Taxpayers don’t want to see state governments continue to provide endless financial subsidies to local governments that are too small, small in capacity, and wasteful. If these regional governments are merged, fiscal problems can be significantly improved and resource waste can be reduced. And repetitive construction, and to meet the long-term strategic needs. Many regions in the state lack a highly skilled labor force. For example, if a region lacks engineers, it will be difficult for local governments to solve infrastructure problems.” The report pointed out.
However, Ofala categorically told a reporter from the Daily Telegraph yesterday, "We made it clear in our election undertaking that we will not merge regional governments forcibly." In recent days, the state government has been accused of inaction on reforms, and the governor's words have undoubtedly become a supporting evidence. The Minister of Local Government Affairs, Don Page, stated that he has been tied up by the governor’s policy of “never forcibly merge the district councils”. But Peggy said he believes some local governments will merge voluntarily.
The completion date for this report was "October 2013", but it was not announced until a week after the Governor's holiday. On Christmas Eve, the governor told Radio Sydney that the government had no intention of forcing the regional governments to merge. Chris Johnson, head of the Urban Taskforce, yesterday criticized the state government for ignoring the recommendations in this report.
"The state government has accumulated a lot of wealth in the three years of the four-year tenure and should make more reforms. The process of local government reform has stagnated so far. The 4 election is getting closer and it seems that the government will not proceed anymore. Any major reforms are made." Johnson said.