The Greens have accused Hornsby Council of failing local residents by backing the botched amalgamation process which will end up costing $200 million over a decade and result in rate hikes, cuts to services and council job losses.

Emma Heyde, Convenor of the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Greens said, “Led by Steve Russell, Hornsby Council enthusiastically supported the State Government’s forced amalgamation with Ku-ring-gai. The amalgamation failed in the courts, but Hornsby Council had already been stripped of a lucrative parcel of land that was handed to Parramatta Council is a separate merger deal.

“Hornsby residents have lost key assets such as Epping town centre and Epping library. The ideologically-driven decision to back a forced merger has left Hornsby Council facing a $200m shortfall.

“Hornsby Council’s disastrous miscalculation means residents can expect cuts to services such as footpath maintenance and our remaining libraries.

“As the Mayor Steve Russell has said, this team of Liberals and independents has been thoroughly ‘screwed’ by the state government. Residents will be paying for their naivety and incompetence for a decade. 

“Steve Russell and his councillors took the highest possible risk of pursuing this merger when they had no access to the KPMG report commissioned by the NSW government on which the financial basis of Council mergers was assessed.  The NSW government has always refused to release that advice.

“Both state and local government have let down our community. We condemn their incompetence and lack of transparency,” Ms Heyde said.