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‘It hasn’t worked’: Deputy Premier calls for council split amid cries for demergers

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By Angus Thompson, The Sydney Morning Herald

DEPUTY PREMIER JOHN Barilaro and Nationals colleague Steph Cooke are joining their political opponents in demanding a community merged as a result of the government’s controversial amalgamations be split back in two amid a renewed push to reverse forced council mergers.

It comes as the Inner West Council has resolved to hold a community vote this year over whether it should revert to its former local bodies as tensions build over cost blow-outs, rate rises and the fallout from a parliamentary inquiry into pork barrelling from a Baird government merger fund.

Mr Barilaro’s stance comes in the wake of another showdown over the government’s koala protection policy that threatened to break up the Coalition, earning him severe rebukes from senior Liberals.

IMAGERY: District Bulletin archives

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