Local Government Reform

The Sydney Business Chamber has long been advocating for a reduction in the number of Sydney’s local councils and associated governance reforms to ensure local decision making is more strategic while also ensuring the long term viability of local governments across Sydney. I​n 2016, the NSW Government announced it would reduce the number of councils in Sydney. The Sydney Business Chamber is continuing its advocacy to ensure further reforms are made to the governance structures of local councils.

The Sydney Business Chamber was one of the first advocates of reducing the number of councils, preparing a 2009 report that identified why structural reform of Sydney’s local government sector was necessary. For too long the structure of Sydney’s local government sector has acted as a barrier to improved operating performance, regional planning and the competitiveness of Sydney as a global city.

The Chamber commissioned KPMG to report on the efficiencies of the current local government arrangements. This report makes the case for change of Sydney’s local government structure to one which supports global competitiveness, is cost effective, based around communities of interest, and is financially sustainable. Sydney’s economy would benefit from the transformation of the governance arrangements of Sydney by creating a more efficient, cost effective structure.

Luke Aitken

Senior Manager, Policy

With a strong background in urban affairs, Luke has helped lead the Chamber’s campaigns to reform local government, overhaul the NSW planning system and develop a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek. In 2013, Luke took on the management of the Chamber’s thought leadership program, Thinking Business, and since then has delivered multiple projects examining critical business issues including the need to improve industry and research collaboration, the economic impact of a Western Sydney Airport and mechanisms to improve small business access to finance. These reports have provided practical recommendations to help shape and influence public debate.