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Amalgamation meeting today

Regional councils, including Deniliquin Council, will discuss proposed amalgamations today.

CASS SASVELLIS February 12, 2014 4:35am

Regional councils will discuss proposed amalgamations today, with representatives from Murray, Conargo, Berrigan, Wakool and Jerilderie Shires meeting with Deniliquin Council at the Deniliquin RSL Club.

Mayors and general managers of each council are invited to attend the meeting.

They will discuss the findings of the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s report, released in October 2013, which recommends amalgamations between the councils.

It suggests Deniliquin Council merge with Murray and Conargo Shires, with the possible addition of Wakool Shire.

The report also recommended Berrigan Shire merge with Jerilderie Shire.

Another recommendation is that all six councils form a Joint Organisation.

Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick said the roundtable discussion will give councillors an opportunity to share their views on the suggested merger.

‘‘It will just be a roundtable discussion to see if councils can come to a consensus that suits all of us,’’ he said.

‘‘We have to get our heads together and see who is willing to go forward.’’

Deni Business Chamber executive officer Lisa Berges believes a merger would be a positive step for Deniliquin.

‘‘From a business point of view, a suggested amalgamation makes good, practical sense,’’ she said.

‘‘It would better represent the views of Deni and surrounding towns at a national level to Canberra and Sydney.

‘‘There would be more impact with a united voice instead of smaller voices.’’

The Independent Local Government Review Panel was formed to look at options for a stronger and more effective system of local government.

The review included three rounds of consultation, including research into council finances, service delivery, local government boundaries and local decision-making models.

The report can be found at www.localgovernmentreview.nsw.gov.au

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