Rockdale Council in limbo after failed court action

In limbo: Rockdale Mayor Bill Saravinovski. Picture: Jane Dyson
In limbo: Rockdale Mayor Bill Saravinovski. Picture: Jane Dyson

Botany Bay Council has failed in its court action against forced council amalgamations.

The council launched Supreme Court action against the State Government after plans were announced to merge it with Rockdale Council.

Supreme Court Justice Peter Garling held a hearing into the matter on May 19 but reserved his judgement.

Today it was announced that Botany Bay had failed in their court action.

It will also be required to pay the defendants court costs.

However, leave was granted to allow the council to reopen its case.  

It is believed Botany Bay has appealed the decision which will be heard later this month.

The Minister for Local Government Paul Toole welcomed the decision.

‘’Today’s court decision means the City of Botany Bay has, for the third time, been unsuccessful in its litigation against the government,’’ he said.

“This litigation has been costly for the council and its ratepayers, with legal bills potentially running into hundreds of thousands of dollars.’’

In May Premier Mike Baird announced 19 councils would merge.

He also announced the support to merge a further nine councils, including a merger of Rockdale and Botany Bay, subject to decisions of the courts.

Today’s decision means Rockdale Council remains in limbo until an official announcement is made on whether it will merge with Botany Bay.

Rockdale Mayor Bill Saravinovski said he was frustrated with the entire process.

‘’We’re just in limbo land,’’ he said.

‘’I’m frustrated and the people are frustrated. I feel sorry for the ratepayers.

‘’We were in support of local government reform but this is just blatantly political.

‘’We’ll just keep plugging along.’’