Annual report card rates Bayside, Georges River councils

Aerial shot of Georges River LGA. Picture: File
Aerial shot of Georges River LGA. Picture: File

The annual report card comparing councils across NSW has just been released, and makes for interesting reading for St George residents.

Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock released the updated Your Council website this week with the latest comparative statistics about the operations and demographics of the 128 local councils in NSW.

The most striking statistic in the latest reports for Bayside and Georges River councils for the 2019/20 financial year concerned code of conduct complaints.

Where Bayside received zero code of conduct complaints, against the comparative council group average of five, Georges River was another story.

Georges River recorded more than three times as many code of conduct complaints than the group average, with 17 in the 2019/20 period.

Of those complaints, three needed to be actioned, compared to the group average of one.

And while Bayside didn't have to spend anything on complaints, Georges River's cost for dealing with complaints was $201,232. The average for their council group was $30,804.

Both local councils have more councillors and fewer staff than their group averages. Bayside's population density is on par with the group average of 3444 people per square kilometre, while Georges River is a bit higher: 4159 residents per square kilometre.

Both councils are falling behind in the provision of public halls (Bayside has 10 and Georges River has 11, compared to the group average of 22) and both have significantly less public open space.

The group averages 1063 hectares of public open space, but Bayside has only 396 hectares and Georges River has 427 hectares.

Populations of both LGAs have higher than average representation of people aged 20-60, and more residents who speak languages other than English than the average.

The highest industry employer for both Bayside and St George is the health care and social industry, and both areas have seen a 3.2 per cent increase in the average council rates across the last three years.

Bayside residents on average pay $1050.12 in rates, compared to the group average of $1117.50, while Georges River residents on average pay $1121.48.

Both councils have around 16,000 active businesses operating in the LGA, and take longer than the group average of 133 days to approve development applications (Bayside takes 157 days, while Georges River takes 196 days).

Similarly, both councils determined significantly fewer DAs than their group average of 821. Bayside determined 514 DAs and Georges River determined only 490.

You can explore all these statistics and more at yourcouncil.nsw.gov.au.