Conargo Shire Mayor Norm Brennan says the NSW Coalition’s Local Land Service proposal demonstrates a ‘‘failed election promise’’.November 27, 2012 4:50am
Conargo Shire Mayor Norm Brennan has vowed to work with Deniliquin Council in an effort to try and protect local government jobs.
Cr Brennan said the NSW Coalition’s Local Land Service (LLS) proposal demonstrated a ‘‘failed election promise’’ to tackle decentralisation.
While he said he was unsure what local government could achieve in this debate, the Conargo mayor promised to ‘‘do what I can’’.
The Department of Primary Industry (DPI), Murray Catchment Management Authority (Murray CMA) and Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA), all with offices Deniliquin, face job losses because of the LLS proposal.
The proposal would see the DPI, CMA and LHPA merged into one ‘super organisation’.
‘‘I get the impression [the proposal] is set in stone, even our local member seems to have written it off as fait accompli,’’ Cr Brennan said.
‘‘This continual effort by the government on a one size fits all basis continues to amaze me.
‘‘We can send delegations to Sydney, but you have to wonder what effect it will have when there is no traction on the ground.’’
Deniliquin Council confirmed it had already held discussions with the NSW Government on the LLS proposal.
General manager Des Bilske said he and Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick spoke with Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson’s office about local job loss concerns.
Mr Bilske said council made it clear to Ms Hodgkinson’s chief of staff and media officers that the loss of more jobs and services in the town was worrying.
‘‘Council has highlighted to them that any loss of jobs locally creates an issue within the community, and any withdrawal of state government services is considered to be in conflict with the state government policy of decentralisation of government.
‘‘The advice we have received indicates that there will not be a withdrawal of services, however, for efficiency reasons, several may be relocated to other areas.
‘‘It should be noted that there are also some services that may be relocated from other areas to Deniliquin.
‘‘It has been highlighted that currently the regional (LLS) office preferred site is Deniliquin and we will continue to support this.
‘‘While council has no formal role in the rearrangements we will continue to work with the minister’s office and Local Land Services to ensure that the required range and level of services delivered through their organisation is available to our community.’’
Seven of eight DPI positions will be affected by the government’s plan to develop a new super organisation, and at least 15 Murray CMA positions from across Deniliquin, Buronga and Albury are expected to be cut.
The LHPA will be brought into the merger at a later date, with the number of jobs impacted at the Deniliquin Riverina LHPA head office not yet known.
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Matches were split up over Good Friday and Easter Saturday throughout the region.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
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