Regional NSW and outer Sydney residents and businesses will be better connected with work now underway to eliminate up to 795 mobile black spots across the State.

Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro said the NSW Government has worked closely with the Federal Government and mobile phone carriers to maximise the funding and the subsequent benefits of the program.

The Mobile Blackspot Program fulfils the NSW Government’s election commitment to invest $24 million to fix some of the worst mobile phone black spots across the State,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We will deliver 144 new or upgraded mobile base stations will be rolled out in NSW over the next three years.

“The new or upgraded towers contribute to more than 14,000 square kilometres of new coverage in NSW, an area larger than the Sydney metropolitan area.”

Mr Barilaro said the initiative is a great example of the NSW and Commonwealth Governments working together with the industry to drive a better future for the people of NSW.

“Whether it’s new highways, hospitals, education facilities and now mobile phone towers, we are providing the infrastructure that regional NSW needs to grow and prosper,” Mr Barilaro said.

The NSW Government has contributed over $24 million to improving mobile coverage in regional areas and outer Sydney as part of the $92 million total investment.

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    All merged councils across NSW will remain in place as communities continue to enjoy the benefits of savings and improvements to services, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton announced today.

    “Since becoming Premier, the Deputy Premier and I have been travelling across NSW, listening to the views and considering the evidence,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    “In addition to maintaining all existing mergers, we will push ahead with those councils in Sydney that are before the courts.

    “Local government reform is particularly important in Sydney if we are to deliver on our commitments to increase housing supply, improve planning and deliver local infrastructure and amenity to communities. These are strong justifications for proceeding with mergers.

    “Before the mergers last year, Sydney had 41 councils compared to 1 in Brisbane.

    “We have also listened to concerns about local character in Sydney and will continue to ensure individual wards of merged councils will have a say in strategic planning processes so that local residents get an even stronger say in the planning of their neighbourhoods.”

    Ms Berejiklian and Mr Barilaro also announced that the NSW Government would not be proceeding with regional councils that have yet to be merged.

    “Whilst there have been a number of significant improvements in merged regional councils, we accept that a one size fits all model does not always apply outside Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said. “The financial benefits over the next 20 years will be 6 times greater in the Sydney councils than those in regional areas.”

    Mr Barilaro said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to listening, and delivering, for the communities across regional NSW.

    “Local councils in the bush have done their fair share to contribute to stronger local government in NSW, and today we draw a line under local government amalgamations in the regions,” Mr Barilaro said.

    “This decision has been made to ensure that we put an end to the confusion and uncertainty for those councils locked in drawn-out legal battles. I am looking forward to the local government elections in September to restore local decision-making to our regions.”

    Ms Upton said three rounds of mergers in regional NSW over recent decades had seen significant consolidation of councils, while metropolitan council numbers had remained largely unchanged since the 1940s, with some boundaries unchanged for more than 100 years.

    “The reform process was particularly designed to weed out the duplication, mismanagement and waste of Sydney’s councils, an issue far less prevalent in regional NSW,” Ms Upton said.

    “With more than 1.74 million people set to make Sydney home over the next 20 years, metropolitan councils need to keep up with housing and local infrastructure demands.

    “The five remaining metropolitan mergers are expected to generate $530 million in benefits over 20 years. Communities deserve to see these benefits.”

    The Premier said new councils created last year will continue to serve their communities.

    “New councils across NSW have been working hard to deliver better services for their communities,” Ms Berejiklian said. “Residents and ratepayers would be worse off if this was undone.”


    NSW has retained the number one position in the nation in CommSec’s State of the States report.

    Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian has welcomed the results of today’s report, which compares the states and territories by analysing key economic indicators.

    NSW is first when it comes to retail trade, population growth, housing finance, housing starts, business investment and employment.

    “It is great news that not only is NSW the number one economy in the nation, it is well out in front when compared to the other states and territories,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    “The latest report found NSW ‘edging’ a little further ahead of Victoria.”

    “The NSW Government has worked hard to make our economy strong, grow jobs, increase business investment and grow confidence.”

    CommSec also noted that NSW has a “solid grip” on the top ranking of economic performance.

    “The future looks bright for NSW but there is much to do. We will continue to work hard to deliver the infrastructure and services our state needs as well as create jobs and grow the economy,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    MEDIA: Katie Kimberley | 0428 345 844


    Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello has  welcomed the recommendations of an independent report, which is for the first time, putting all of the state’s 769 licences under the microscope, to prevent superfluous red tape.

      The NSW Government  announced that it will adopt all of the recommendations of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) Report, Reforming Licensing in NSW, which is now publically available.

      The IPART report reviewed state government licences - including registrations, permits, approvals, accreditations and renewals - that account for $2.8 billion of the government’s annual revenue.

      “Overly onerous licensing restrictions result in unnecessary regulatory costs that may deter businesses from investing in NSW, and that is why the government commissioned IPART to conduct a root and branch review of all licence categories across the state to ensure they are fit for purpose and responsive to trends in technology and digital government,” Mr Dominello said.

      “As part of the report’s findings, the government will review and reform the top 40 licences, based on volume issued and revenue raised, including registration of heavy vehicles, recreational fishing fees and home building licences. Those that cannot demonstrate a strong public policy rationale will be removed”.

      Government agencies have also committed to applying new guidelines and frameworks recommended by IPART when developing or reviewing regulation and licences, to ensure they are efficient and remove burdensome red tape for business.

      Where there is no statutory requirement to review licensing regulation, licences will be reviewed every 10 years.

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