New South Wales Premier Mike Baird speaks to the media as he arrives at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. State and Territory leaders are today in Canberra for the 38th Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird speaks to the media as he arrives at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. State and Territory leaders are today in Canberra for the 38th Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING LUKAS COCH

Council director worked for dept that approved Westconnex

THE Labor Opposition in New South Wales has vowed to reverse the Baird government's plan to force dozens of councils to merge.

The government has sacked 42 councils and plans to amalgamate them into 19 super-councils, in what Labor says is a self-interested move to push through development.

Planned mergers of councils in three marginal seats have been abandoned.

Former high-level Department of Planning and Infrastructure staffer Richard Pearson has been installed as administrator of Sydney's new Inner West Council, which is comprised of five former councils.

He will run it until the next state election, at a time when the government is pushing for the $15 billion WestConnex roadway to be built. Mr Pearson's former office approved the project despite strong resistance from the since-dissolved councils.

"Councils in key federal Coalition marginal seats are the ones being saved but what about everyone else?" Opposition local government spokesman Peter Primrose asked.


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