Information about the Local Government Boundaries Commission

The Local Government Boundaries Commission is an independent statutory authority constituted under section 260 of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act).

The Boundaries Commission has several functions under the Act.  In summary its main functions are:

  1. to examine and report on any matter referred to it by the Minister in relation to the boundaries of local government areas and the areas of operation of county councils; and
  2. where a matter (as described in (i) above) has been referred to the Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government for examination and report, to review that Report and provide comments to the Minister.

Commissioners

The Commission’s four members are appointed by the Governor for a five-year term. They are:

  • Mr Bob Sendt (Chairman)
  • Councillor Rick Firman OAM
  • Councillor Lesley Furneaux-Cook
  • Mr Grant Gleeson

Of the four Commissioners, one (the Chairperson, Mr Bob Sendt) is nominated by the Minister for Local Government; one (Mr Grant Gleeson) is an officer of the Office of Local Government nominated by the Chief Executive; and two (Councillor Rick Firman OAM and Councillor Lesley Furneaux-Cook) are persons appointed from the panel constituted under section 262(1) of the Local Government Act 1993 (the members of this panel are nominated by Local Government NSW).

Contact details:

Executive Officer: Alice Beasley
Phone: (02) 4428 4160
Fax: (02) 4428 4199
Email: EO@lgbc.nsw.gov.au
Address: Locked bag 3015, Nowra, NSW 2541 Australia(c) the existing historical and traditional values in the existing areas and the impact of change on them,

Boundaries-Commission

Media Releases

• 24 March 2020 – Boundaries Commission Calls for Public Submissions  

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the role of the Boundaries Commission?

    The Local Government Boundaries Commission is an independent statutory authority which examines and reports on any matter referred to it by the Minister in relation to the boundaries of local government areas. The Boundaries Commission is constituted under section 260 of the Local Government Act.

    • 24 March 2020 – Boundaries Commission Calls for Public Submissions 

  • Who are the members of the Boundaries Commission?

    Four commissioners are appointed to the Boundaries Commission by the Governor for a five-year term.

    They are Bob Sendt (chairman), Councillor Rick Firman (Temora), Councillor Lesley Furneaux-Cook (Burwood), and Grant Gleeson (Office of Local Government).

    Of the four commissioners, one (Bob Sendt) is nominated by the Minister for Local Government, one (Grant Gleeson) is an officer of the Office of Local Government nominated by the agency’s Deputy Secretary, and two (Councillors Rick Firman and Lesley Furneaux-Cook) are appointed from a panel comprising members nominated by Local Government NSW.

     

  • What proposals are currently being examined by the Boundaries Commission?

    On 25 February 2020 Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock referred to the Commission two elector initiated proposals that would affect boundaries in relation to Snowy Valleys Council and Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council.
    In relation to Snowy Valleys Council, the proposal seeks to re-establish the area of the former Tumbarumba Shire local government area. It would reduce the local government area of Snowy Valleys Council so that it corresponds to the area of the former Tumut Shire Council.
    In relation to Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council, the proposal seeks to re-establish the area of the former Gundagai Shire local government area. It would reduce the local government area of Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council so that it corresponds to the area of the former Cootamundra Shire Council.
    In effect, these proposals seek to reverse the mergers that were put in place in 2016.
    These proposals and the Minister’s letters referring them to the Commission can be viewed here.

  • What will the Boundaries Commission take into consideration in their examination of the current proposals?

    Section 263(3) of the Local Government Act sets out eleven factors that the Commission is required to have regard to in examining any proposal for changes to local government boundaries. Two of these factors relate only to proposals for merging council areas, so are not relevant to the Commission’s current examinations. The remaining factors cover issues such as:
    • financial advantages/disadvantages
    • the community of interest and geographic cohesion
    • attitude of residents and ratepayers
    • requirements of the area concerned in relation to elected representation for residents and ratepayers at the local level
    • any impact on council operations and staff, and
    • any impact on rural communities in the areas concerned.

    The Minister has also directed the Commission to hold an inquiry into each proposal. See below for further information on these public hearings.

  • Can I make a written submission to the Boundaries Commission?

    Submissions already made by affected electors and councils to the Minister for Local Government have been provided to the Commission and do not need to be resubmitted.
    The Commission has now published public notices in a number of newspapers calling for written submissions from parties affected by the proposals. This provides a further opportunity for parties who did not make a submission to the Minister or who wish to provide supplementary material.

  • How can I make a written submission?

    Written submissions on each proposal should be forwarded to Local Government Boundaries Commission, Executive Officer, Locked Bag 3015, Nowra NSW 2541 or emailed to EO@lgbc.nsw.gov.au.
    It would assist the Commission in its deliberations if parties could indicate in their submissions which of the section 263(3) factors they are addressing.
    Submissions must be lodged by COB on 24 April 2020.

  • Will written submissions be made public?

    Submissions received by the Commission may be made publicly available at its discretion. If submissions are made public, contact details will be redacted. The name of the person making the submission may be released unless the person has requested to remain anonymous.
    Any submissions received are also subject to the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

  • Can I make an anonymous submission?

    The Commission is required to have regard to the views of residents and ratepayers. While this does not preclude other parties from making a submission, any resident or ratepayer making a submission should identify themselves. In respect of anonymous submissions, the Commission may, at its discretion, take all or part of such a submission into account.
    Those making a submission can request that their identity remains anonymous.

  • Will the Boundaries Commission hold public hearings?

    The Minister has directed the Commission to hold public hearings as part of the examination process. It is intended that these will be held in Cootamundra, Gundagai, Tumut and Tumbarumba.

    Any person who wishes to make an oral submission at the public hearing should notify the Commission in writing by COB on 24 April 2020.

    Further information about times, location and procedures for any hearings will be published on the Commission’s website at a later date.

  • How do I make an oral submission at the public hearings?

    Persons making submissions should give written notice by COB on 24 April 2020 on whether they wish to speak to their written submission at one of the public hearings to be held by the Commission.

  • How will the public hearings be conducted?

    Public hearings are open to members of the public and media. The Commission will determine how much time each speaker will be allowed so that all who wish to speak are given the chance to do so. Depending on the number of people wishing to speak, the Commission may hold the hearings over a number of consecutive sessions.

  • Is there protection from defamation at hearings or in written submissions?

    Persons making written or oral submissions to the inquiry are not protected from defamation in respect of anything contained in those submissions. They should therefore ensure that they do not make any statement that may give rise to legal action by an aggrieved party.

  • Can I be represented at hearings?

    Section 264 of the Local Government Act provides the circumstances in which a person can be represented in proceedings before the Commission. People who wish to be heard at the public hearings should make themselves aware of the restrictions set out in that section.

  • Will the hearings be recorded?

    Audio recordings and written transcripts will be made of public hearings to assist in the Commission’s consideration of the proposals. By making an oral submission to the Commission at a public hearing, the speaker consents to their submission being recorded. Audio recordings will not be made publicly available by the Commission, however recordings and transcripts are subject to the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

  • What happens after the submissions and public hearings?

    The Commission will prepare a report for the Minister on each proposal with recommendations as to whether the proposal should be implemented.

  • What happens to the Boundaries Commission’s reports?

    Once the Minister receives a report from the Commission, the Minister may recommend to the Governor that the proposal be implemented (with any modifications the Minister decides appropriate) or may decline to do so.
    The report will only be published on the Commission’s website with the Minister’s consent.

  • How long will the examination by the Boundaries Commission take?

    The Act does not provide a timeframe for the process to be undertaken. However the Commission is aware of the need for it to be completed in a reasonable timeframe to provide certainty to councils and residents.

  • Will COVID-19 impact on the process?

    The Commission is monitoring all government requirements in respect of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in relation to public gatherings. If the Commission subsequently needs to amend any arrangements due to the impact of COVID-19, details will be published on its website.

  • FAQs download

    To download the FAQs click here.

Proposals