SEVEN have become three.
The future of the central west's local councils became known on Friday morning when Premier Mike Baird and Local Government Minister Paul Toole unveiled their plans for forced amalgamations.
Orange City Council will join forces with Blayney and Cabonne, Bathurst Regional Council will link with Oberon while Dubbo and Wellington will also merge.
Other central west councils - Mid-Western Regional, Lithgow, Cowra, Weddin, Forbes, Parkes and Narromine - will remain in their current form.
Councillors were briefed on the proposed amalgamations on Friday morning prior to the public announcement.
The government also announced a $700 million package, up from the original $550 million, in incentives to help councils absorb the costs of merging.
Premier Mike Baird also announced plans for a new Local Government Act which will include a new power for the minister to appoint a financial controller to a non-performing council deemed at high financial risk.
But the amalgamations will be dealt with through the old act, which means there will need to be public hearings by the boundaries commission which will be re-constituted.
The process will take at least six months and may require a delay in the local government elections due in September, 2016.