Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson today attacked the Illawarra Business Chamber’s (IBC) support for the forced amalgamation of Illawarra Councils suggesting it’s claims don’t stack up because no-one has had an opportunity to scrutinise the secret KPMG report the State Government was relying on.

“The IBC claims that “businesses merge everyday”, but in my experience they only do so after comprehensive due diligence.

“The State Government’s proposal is based on the still very secret KPMG report, which it refuses to release and has attracted widespread criticism for questionable assumptions and highly uncertain forecasts, especially in relation to the financial position of all Illawarra Councils.

“Any business which merged on the basis of a wing-and-a-prayer without undertaking due diligence would be rightly seen as incompetent and its management would ultimately be sacked.

“For the region’s peak business group to be advocating for a forced merger without scrutinising a secret KPMG report on which the State Government’s proposal is based is at its most kind – highly negligent – and, at its worst – completely stupid business practice.

“The IBC is best suited to focusing on event management rather than trying its hand at public policy advocacy”, she said.

Ms Watson also added that every local Council in the Illawarra, contrary to the IBC’s view, has strongly opposed the State Government’s forced amalgamation proposal and process.


26 February 2016