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Mr Page has been replaced by Paul Toole, a first-time Coalition front-bencher, as part of the NSW Government shake-up following Premier Barry O’Farrell’s shock resignation less than a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.
A Shepparton man was car jacked on Colliver Rd Shepparton yesterday afternoon.
The Mulwala Lions took a huge step forward in the race for the Murray League title with a hard fought, low scoring, 15 point win, against the fancied Barooga outfit, in near perfect conditions at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
Chelsea Campbell is excited with her new business venture, after purchasing Carol Taylor’s hairdressing salon in Hogan St.
THE Echuca-Moama Country Music Festival will kick off next week at Moama RSL with three days of entertainment under the one roof.
NATIONAL tree day came early for Rochester Secondary College with 16 students planting 350 trees in little more than an hour on Thursday.
Goulburn Valley Water, in consultation with the Department of Health & Human Services, has lifted the Boil Water Notice for the township of Tongala.
Australian Army Cadets unit keeps winning awards.
Finley's well-respected Gordon Pyle will be remembered by the Southern Riverina community
HEATHCOTE Park Raceway was back in action on Sunday with a surprise for those expecting owner Russell Clarke to be enjoying his retirement.
Dozens of birds of all shapes and sizes flew the coop as Cobram hosted its inaugural poultry auction last Sunday.
Neil Buckley has been inducted as president of the Deniliquin Lions for the next 12 months.
Superior Seed Co ran a successful Winter Cropping Field Day at Deniliquin last week.
The Benalla Giants came out winners in both the under-14s and under-16s against the Benalla Bulldogs on the weekend.
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