NSW Government to decide on proposed council amalgamations.ZOE MCMAUGH August 20, 2014 3:40am
The NSW Government has told the state’s mayors and senior council staff that a response on the Revitalising Local Government review, including proposed council amalgamations, will be delivered before Christmas.
NSW Local Government Minister Paul Toole made the commitment at the NSW Country Mayors conference in Sydney last week.
Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick attended the conference with general manager Des Bilske.
The mayor said he had the opportunity to meet with Mr Toole at the Local Government Week presentation dinner the night before he opened the conference.
Cr Renwick said the minister did not give away the government’s position on the review but was adamant the process would not be drawn out any longer than it had to be.
‘‘Paul Toole said prior to Christmas we would be guaranteed to see some outcomes of the review,’’ Cr Renwick said.
‘‘Even though he was only appointed Local Government Minister in April this year, he has already been right through the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s report.
‘‘He was very generic in his discussions with me about it and when he addressed the Country Mayors conference.
‘‘I did notice though that he is a man fixed on finalising this process while he is in the role.
‘‘He said he would not be waiting until the election (in March 2015), which has been speculated.’’
Cr Renwick and Deniliquin Council have been open to the recommendations in the review panel’s report, including its recommendation of regional shire mergers.
An amalgamation of Deniliquin Council, Conargo Shire, Murray Shire and potentially Wakool Shire was first recommended in the NSW Treasury Corporation report released early last year.
It listed Deniliquin and Conargo as ‘‘councils at risk’’ and both having ‘‘low’’ rate bases. Their financial outlooks were listed at ‘‘negative’’ and ‘‘neutral’’ respectively.
The review panel backed up the TCorp recommendation in its draft and final recommendations released in April and October.
Cr Renwick says he maintains there are some positives to be gained from the proposed amalgamations, saying concerns about loss of identity are unwarranted.
‘‘When we talk about amalgamation there are people who think they are going to lose their identities,’’ he said.
‘‘But just look at Berrigan Shire, for example. It covers the towns of Finley, Tocumwal, Berrigan and Barooga, and none of those towns have lost their own individual identity.
‘‘They are running the entire shire from a single administration and under a single general manager very well.
‘‘It can be done without, for example, Pretty Pine or Booroorban being swallowed up.’’
Both Murray and Conargo shire councils have been vehemently opposed to any mergers.
The Bureau of Meteorology has released a severe weather warning for regions that include Shepparton. It includes damaging winds and the potential for flash flooding.
Pete O’Neill and Abby Hicks are national champions at the completion of the 2015 Australian Barefoot Championships held last week.
GVAC women Rachel Pratt and Jacquie Fitzpatrick showed the men, and the large crowd at Rushworth Speedway on Saturday, March 28, they have what it takes when competing in the men’s classes.
Two international backpackers have taken aim at contractors who hired them to pick fruit in the region without payment.
Rochester boxing coach Chris Trewin and his team of dedicated trainers have been hitting the bag for more than six months and the results are beginning to show.
Local MP calls for community applications
A special event will take place at Pioneer Park on Sunday.
Jerilderie's born and bred Madeleine Harris has been recognised for her banking and finance career
Concerned Costerfield residents had the chance to voice their antimony health concerns last week after an independent facilitator was appointed.
Strathmerton clinched a win in the high-scoring game against Mathoura on the weekend in the PDFL North West competition.
Deniliquin swimming dynamo Stephen Dalzell has finished 13th overall in his preferred event at the Australian Age Championships.
Murray Goulburn Co-operative has set a date for a special meeting to vote on a new capital structure.
Emergency services are on scene of a two-car crash on the Midland Hwy, near Benalla. Two people have died. Traffic is being diverted.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.