History of the Inner West Council

Fit for the Future Assessment  Summary (2015)

Administrator's End of Term Report (2017)

        10. Conclusion

There is no doubt that the State Government’s merger program has been a tumultuous one, and nowhere more so than in the Inner West. The hard edge approach to implementing the merger, involving the dismissal of councillors, as well as the contested planning and major State infrastructure environment in which it has occurred has made it so. 
Nonetheless, I think it is time for us to stop thinking we have been punished by being merged and to use it is an opportunity to realise real benefits for the people of the Inner West. We have a strong community of interest and I believe this is a solid basis for the new council to make its mark. 
We have already in our first 16 months achieved many tangible benefits for the community,including:
  • an inherited budget deficit of $4.8 million cleared in the first 12 months
  • $2.5 million in annual savings in executive salaries and insurances locked in, with predicted savings of $60 million over our first 10 years;
  • an Investment Policy which will make us the leading non-fossil fuel investment council in NSW, with our June 2018 target of 70% already achieved;
  • a record $22 million more spent on infrastructure in our first full financial year, with a similar result expected in 2017/18;
  • an extra $14 million in infrastructure funding received from the State Government, to be spent over our first three years enabling our ageing infrastructure to be upgraded;
  • evidence that we are having greater influence in major State planning and infrastructure decisions, including for Parramatta Road, affordable housing and WestConnex;
  • great progress on creating a modern, high performing customer-focussed organisation, with preliminary figures showing a 5% improvement in our customer satisfaction rating (Micromex 2017) from 85% to 90% in our first year of operation.
Whilst new councillors are likely to have a more focussed approach on the traditional issues of local government, I urge them not to forget the ability to do bigger things with a bigger council – whether it be spending more on our parks, roads and footpaths, or leveraging better outcomes from theState Government. I wish all new councillors well in the important work they have ahead of them. 
Finally, I would also like to sincerely thank the 1250 men and women who make up Inner West Council for their support and camaraderie during my 16 months at the helm. I have found them to be a highly professional and responsive group and consider the Council to be in great hands for sustained success in the future. 


Dec 4 Poll Result (2021)

People voted to deamalgamate across the Inner West.
Vote across Polling Booths Yes: Blue  No:Red

Demerger Business  Case 2022

Council has engaged Morrison Low to prepare a business case in accordance with NSW Government guidelines. Morrison Low had undertaken substantial work for Council in 2015 with the development of the high level merger business cases of the former three Councils and in 2021 developing a high level cost benefit analysis (Attachment 3: 2021 business case (PDF 1.5MB)executive summary (PDF 154.8KB) and community engagement report (PDF 673.3KB)).

The 2021 Morrison Low report:

    • Reviewed the former councils' 2014/15 Long Term Financial Plans
    • Re-established previous financial models of the former councils undertaken in 2015 and previous modelling to 19/20
    • Validated the models against the Councils that didn't merge (Burwood, Canada Bay, Strathfield)
    • Compared 19/20 actual results of Inner West with the aggregated modelled position of Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville
    • Added changes in service levels and new industry compliance requirements, new assets, COVID-19 impacts to these models with a start date of July 2022...



Councils are guided by a range of laws, regulations and policies to support them to make good decisions that will create positive outcomes for their local communities. Councils must comply with laws and mandatory policies or guidelines. Councils should comply or take into consideration, many other policies and guidelines to conform to best practice when making decisions on behalf of their communities.

Acts and Regulations

Local councils must comply with various Acts and Regulations. The Office of Local Government administers, or shares responsibility for administering, the following:


New South Wales Consolidated Acts


Local government

51 Local government

(1) There shall continue to be a system of local government for the State under which duly elected or duly appointed local government bodies are constituted with responsibilities for acting for the better government of those parts of the State that are from time to time subject to that system of local government.
(2) The manner in which local government bodies are constituted and the nature and extent of their powers, authorities, duties and functions shall be as determined by or in accordance with laws of the Legislature.
(3) The reference in subsection (2) to laws of the Legislature shall be read as a reference to laws that have been enacted by the Legislature, whether before or after the commencement of this section, and that are for the time being in force.
(4) For the purposes of this section, each of the following is taken to be a local government body--
(a) for the Western Division (as defined in the Crown Land Management Act 2016 )--any person with all or any of the functions of a local government body in relation to any part of the State in that Division,
(b) for Lord Howe Island--the Lord Howe Island Board,
(c) an administrator with all or any of the functions of a local government body.