Jacovou supports council merger

Moving on: Jack Jacovou, pictured with wife Jenny and daughters Jessica and Rosalie in 2012 when he became Hurstville's mayor.
Moving on: Jack Jacovou, pictured with wife Jenny and daughters Jessica and Rosalie in 2012 when he became Hurstville's mayor.

FORMER Liberal councillor and mayor Jack Jacovou has cited health problems as the first reason for resigning from Hurstville Council.

Mr Jacovou's second reason was that he was fed up with the council's entrenched dysfunction, which he said had no hope of being fixed with the present set of personalities.

The best solution was amalgamation with neighbouring councils, he said.

Mr Jacovou, a lawyer and into his second term as councillor, said he had been unhappy with the council for a while.

"I don't think many of our decisions were consistent or fair," he said.

"The number of times councillors voted against the recommendations of the planners is very high — much higher than at other councils."

Mr Jacovou said that while always following the planning advice would be wrong — there were planning matters not in the public interest although technically admissible — a "healthy mix" would have been a small number of decisions outside of the planners' recommendations.

He said there was no real protocol in dealing with planning matters such as unauthorised works, with some people getting their way while others copped hefty fines.

Mr Jacovou also warned that the city's infrastructure — parking and traffic — could not handle any more development.

He said the Hurstville City Centre concept master plan was an example of development gone mad.

This is being sold as Hurstville's "showpiece" civic centre, covering 13,000 square metres.

Mr Jacovou said the original plan, which was much simpler and incorporated a tall building and lots of green space, had since been upgraded to include unnecessary residential buildings.

"They need to slow down — look at what's approved already and what's inthe pipeline."

Mr Jacovou would not go into detail on the causes of the council's dysfunction except to say it was not the fault of one or two people — but entrenched, and not fixable.

"Hurstville would be better served if the council amalgamated," Mr Jacovou said.

"A larger council would bring more professional people so better decisions could be made."

No byelection will be needed when he leaves.

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