Berrigan Shire Mayor Bernard Curtin said he was impressed by Don Page's performance and disappointed to see him goMay 1, 2014 2:10am
Berrigan Shire Mayor Bernard Curtin says it is disappointing to lose Minister for Local Government Don Page at the same time councils are coming to terms with the Revitalising Local Government report.
Mr Page has been replaced by Paul Toole, a first-time Coalition front-bencher, as part of the NSW Government shake-up following Premier Barry O’Farrell’s shock resignation less than a fortnight ago.
Cr Curtin said he did not know Mr Toole but had hoped to meet him at Wednesday’s planned Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils meeting in Albury, which Mr Page had previously said he would attend.
With Mr Toole unable to attend, the meeting has been shifted to Jerilderie instead.
‘‘I was very impressed with Don Page’s performance,’’ Cr Curtin said.
‘‘He was prepared to listen to some ideas and give councils an opportunity to put those ideas into practice. For example, the joint organisation the report is suggesting, he was going to have a couple of pilot schemes.
‘‘He was a fellow you could discuss things with .
The Revitalising Local Government report suggests Berrigan and Jerilderie Shires merge to form one council. It also suggests Deniliquin, Murray Shire and Conargo Shire amalgamate, with the possible inclusion of Wakool Shire.
All six are also listed in a recommendation to form a ‘Joint Organisations’.
Conargo Shire Mayor Norm Brennan said the change in Minister for Local Government was ‘‘interesting’’.
He said the next step would be to gauge the new minister’s attitude toward proposed amalgamations.
‘‘I thought Don Page was a highly regarded minister on the front bench, as I thought about George Souris who has also been removed.
‘‘We are waiting to see what will come of the new Minister for Local Government, as there are a few possibilities.
‘‘The review could be put on the backburner, or it could be sped up. We will be watching and waiting with bated breath.’’
Ministers removed from the front bench by new Premier Mike Baird were Robyn Parker, George Souris, Greg Smith and Don Page.
Added to the cabinet for the first time are Rob Stokes, Troy Grant, Dominic Perrottet, Mr Toole and Jai Rowell.
Member for Murrumbidgee and pre-selection candidate for the new seat of Murray, Adrian Piccoli, remains in his role as Minister for Education, Jillian Skinner remains Minister for Health and Michael Gallacher is still Minister for Police and Emergency Services.
The cabinet reshuffle began last week after former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell resigned.
A thank you letter signed by Mr O’Farrell for a $3000 bottle of wine he had previously stated to ICAC he had not received was uncovered, leading to his immediate resignation.
The SAM Foundation has received a further philanthropic contribution of $1 million towards the new Shepparton Art Museum.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
Two people have been arrested and thousands of dollars in drugs and property found in a major raid in Corop early Monday.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
Members of a Cobram social group have encouraged women to become a part of community groups, committees and boards.
School fundraises for student with leukaemia.
Fonterra suppliers are reeling after the announcement of a big cut in the milk price from $5.60/kg to $5 for the full current year.
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