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NSW Government May Backflip On Council Mergers

Opponents of NSW council mergers have welcomed reports the state government is poised to scrap the controversial policy.

Greens MP David Shoebridge said the council amalgamations had become politically untenable and a strong campaign had forced the government to back down

"This is a win for people power over developers, corporate interests and an arrogant state government that was taking communities for granted," Mr Shoebridge said in a statement.

The Nine Network reports that the NSW government is considering cancelling planned council mergers that are being disputed in court, and allowing ratepayers of already merged councils to vote on whether to de-amalgamate.

The plan is reportedly set to go to cabinet on Thursday or next week.

The premier's office has been contacted for comment.

Local Government NSW president Keith Rhoades said the plan, if confirmed by cabinet, would be welcome news.

Mr Rhoades said his organisation had spent much of Wednesday in meetings with Deputy Premier John Barilaro and the new Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton

"It would be inappropriate to reveal the content of those discussions, but I can certainly say they were both constructive and productive," Mr Rhoades said in a statement.

Ms Upton has recently said Premier Gladys Berejiklian had indicated she wanted to "look closely" at the issue of councils.

AAP

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