Hornsby mayor Philip Ruddock has responded angrily to false claims by Parramatta councillor Lorraine Wearne that Hornsby is withholding rates data.
Stories published in the Parramatta Advertiser and Hornsby Advocate falsely state that the data is being withheld as part of “Philip Ruddock’s political game”.
“That is simply not true and I am highly offended,” Mr Ruddock said.
“It’s more than a week since council agreed to give the rates data to Parramatta, along with a voluntary payment of more than $9 million.
“Either Cr Wearne is poorly informed or she is blatantly lying for political purposes.
“Whichever it is, she needs to apologise and retract her false statements.”
The rates data is for the suburbs south of the M2 that were taken from Hornsby Council last year by the NSW Government and given to Parramatta.
Last week Hornsby agreed to give the money and rates data to Parramatta as an act of good faith, in the hope it would encourage Parramatta to end costly court action and sit down at the negotiating table.
“Our intent was to prove we are genuinely looking for a reasonable solution and, despite Cr Wearne’s irresponsible comments, I hope that is still possible,” Mr Ruddock said.
“Council has never denied that money is owed to Parramatta, from rates we collected on their behalf while the territory south of the M2 was transferred to their control.
“All year we have been trying to reach agreement with them about the exact amount, but instead of speaking to us they have launched court action.
“The invitation still stands to Parramatta Council – before wasting ratepayers money in the courts let’s sit down and at least try to figure this out amicably.”