The City of Parramatta Council has given Hornsby Shire Council an ultimatum to pay $24 million in outstanding rates within two weeks or face legal action.
Parramatta Mayor Andrew Wilson said around 15,000 residents in Carlingford, Beecroft and Epping, which used to be part of the Hornsby Shire, but were now part of Parramatta Council as a result of boundary changes related to proposed council mergers in 2016, had paid $24 million in rates which the Hornsby Shire Council had yet to hand over.
“Since the amalgamations were claimed, Hornsby has not acted in a lawful way, our services are currently servicing the area, and yet we have been denied access to the rate rolls,” Mayor Wilson said.
“I have been amazed that Hornsby Council has not really spoken to us at all,” he said. “They have gone to a boundaries commission [and] they've started a claim against us to reclaim the whole of Epping including the bit we have.”
“They are not supplying us with information that we under the Act are entitled to and we're therefore not able to comply with our auditing provisions and so forth because we don't have the information available.”
Mayor of Hornsby Philip Ruddock said last month that: “we take the view that what Parramatta is properly entitled to should be paid; those amounts have to be agreed.
“I'm not going to discuss amounts in terms of dictating with precision what would be agreed to ... there are question marks over those issues.”
Both mayors have accused the other’s council of cancelling meetings in regards to the dispute.