Jerilderie Shire Mayor Terry Hogan says council amalgamations may be needed in the future, but for now he is happy they will not be forced on local government.February 13, 2013 4:14am
The assurance was given by three local state members at a Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils (RAMROC) meeting on Thursday.
Member for Murray-Darling John Williams, NSW Education Minister and Member for Murrumbidgee Adrian Piccoli and Member for Albury Greg Aplin were quizzed on a number of issued relating to local government at the special meeting.
Cr Hogan and Conargo Shire general manager Barry Barlow said the prospect of amalgamations dominated discussion.
It is part of a wider independent review of local government.
Cr Hogan, who is also RAMROC chair, says he believes council amalgamations may be necessary in the future.
However, he joined other member councils in welcoming news that none would be compulsory right now.
‘‘We (local government) seem to be facing more and more regulation, and we need specialists to help us carry out and meet those regulations.
‘‘There will be some shires who may have to consider amalgamation now because of a lack of population and subsequent low rate base .
‘‘You have to be living in a big, deep, dark cave to not see that some changes need to be made in the future to continue meeting the needs of our communities.
‘‘But it was spelled out emphatically that there would be no forced amalgamations at this stage.’’
Mr Barlow said the reiteration that there would be no forced amalgamations by the local members was ‘‘very, very good news’’.
‘‘The state government advised the local members there would be no forced amalgamations or boundary changes in country areas.
‘‘I find that reassuring, because I believe we (Conargo Shire) are viable and can sustain and provide for our ratepayers.
‘‘It’s also reassuring to hear from a staff point of view.’’
Cr Hogan said a review report based on council consultations meetings, which are not believed to have been held in this area yet, was due ‘‘soon’’.
He said with no forced amalgamations, the future control of water and sewerage was likely to be the most anticipated part of the report.
The NSW Government first proposed to introduce state government controlled water and sewerage services in 2007.
At the time, councils said losing control of the services would remove millions of dollars from council revenue and affect a large number of jobs.
In an attempt to keep the services in local hands, RAMROC developed a regional alliance model of management to be called RAMROC Water.
The government’s push for the change went quiet in 2010, but Cr Hogan said it would form part of the local government review.
He said councils may need to fight to retain the services again if the NSW Government goes back to its original plan.
Benalla police are appealing for anyone with information about the theft of a Country Fire Authority radio valued at 4000 to contact them.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
Level crossing upgrades to the Echuca-Bendigo line may be completed next month.
Julie Sands and Sheridan Clark have been kept busy, visiting Rochester recently yo dispense free coats to residents.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram supermarket seeks $10 million expansion, increasing by about a third into adjacent car park area.
Public interest to determine Deniliquin Town Hall refurbishment.
Milk co-operative, Murray Goulburn has posted a record financial result, recording an after tax profit of $29 million.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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.