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Hornsby Shire Council corrects $280 million "media myth"

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In response to media interviews on several Sydney-based radio stations, Hornsby Shire Council is again setting the record straight on funding received from the NSW Government for its Westleigh Park and Hornsby Park major developments.

In interviews todays, it was suggested that Council  “demanded $280 million in grants“ from the NSW Government for local parks.

“These claims are inaccurate, as Council has advised in previous media statements,” said a Council spokesperson.

While Hornsby Shire Council survived amalgamation in the government’s 2016 council amalgamation reforms, it did lose a large part of its southern territory to the City of Parramatta.

“An independent financial assessment confirmed that losing these suburbs, in which Council had invested significantly, resulted in a net loss of $10 million from Council’s annual budget.

“In local government, we have finite resources and a loss of $10 million every single year is a massive blow to our community, one that is not easy to recover from. The full net loss to Council was estimated at $258 million, which significantly impacts our ability to deliver priority projects for our community.”

Hornsby Shire Council’s general manager, Steven Head said it was important to again set the record straight.

“The people of Hornsby Shire certainly needed and deserved the $90 million they have received so far as part of the compensation provided for the loss of revenues from the territory south of the M2,” said Mr Head.

“The decision to allocate funding from the Stronger Communities Fund was the NSW Government’s call and we were grateful to receive it.

“Council's major concern is that we didn't receive full compensation, as the Government promised.

"For now, the important matter is that the public facts are correct.

“The people of Hornsby Shire were significantly disadvantaged by the local government reform process and they deserve to be no worse off as a result.”

Council included these facts as part of its submission to the NSW parliamentary inquiry into the issue.