Well this is a major backflip...
The New South Wales government has announced they are abandoning their high court battle, meaning they'll no longer force fourteen Sydney Councils to merge.
Its abandoning its legal fight in the High Court, blaming the lengthy court process.
The following proposed mergers will not proceed:
- Burwood, City of Canada Bay and Strathfield Municipal councils
- Hornsby Shire and Ku-ring-gai councils
- Hunter’s Hill, Lane Cove and City of Ryde councils
- Mosman Municipal, North Sydney and Willoughby City councils
- Randwick City, Waverley and Woollahra Municipal councils
"Due to the protracted nature of current legal challenges and the uncertainty this is causing ratepayers, those council amalgamations currently before the courts will not proceed," Ms Berejiklian said in a joint statement with Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton.
The government conveniently timing it weeks out from the local government election.
There are 20 already-amalgamated councils across NSW.
Unsurprisingly, the premier copped a fair bit of heat from reporters when announcing the move, with some reporters asking how the public can trust anything the government says.
"If I had my way we would've moved forward (with the mergers) but the court process has taken much longer."
Local government elections for the merged councils and the 14 affected by Thursday's announcement will be held on September 9.