NSW Member for Murray Darling John Williams has said Berrigan Shire should not be included in any future merger.January 22, 2014 4:18am
Mr Williams was responding to the release of the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s report this month which recommends Berrigan merge with Jerilderie Shire.
He told the Southern Riverina News he wasn’t sure amalgamation was the best option for Berrigan.
‘‘I think Berrigan, in my personal opinion, is an outstanding shire,’’ Mr Williams said.
‘‘It provides very well for the community.
‘‘I’m not saying Jerilderie doesn’t, but I don’t think there would be any value (in amalgamating) for Berrigan Shire.’’
Both Berrigan and Jerilderie Shire senior staff and councillors say they are keeping an open mind about proposed amalgamations, and Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils’ executive officer Ray Stubbs says more investigation is needed.
Mr Stubbs said it was important for the NSW Government and shires to assess all options before committing to an amalgamation.
‘‘Amalgamation can have benefits, but there’s no use amalgamating for the sake of it,’’ he said.
‘‘In other words, there’s no use putting two councils together and expecting it to solve all problems.’’
The Independent Local Government Review Panel was formed after the release of a report on the financial viability of all NSW Councils.
It highlighted that most councils in the Southern Riverina and across to Deniliquin and District were at financial risk.
The original report recommended mergers may be the only way to ensure the long-term viability of councils.
The review panel supported the recommendation in its in-depth report, as well as changes to the local government structure.
Berrigan Shire general manager Rowan Perkins said he continues to have an ‘‘open mind’’ about amalgamating with another shire, but agreed there needed to be clear benefits.
‘‘There are some positive parts throughout the report, however we see it as quite bizarre that they are suggesting we put a moderately rated council with a lowly rated council,’’ he said.
‘‘Putting together two councils which the government thinks are weak isn’t going to create stronger councils.’’
Mr Perkins said the other option of a Joint Organisation, merging five regional councils, ‘‘would further erode’’ the situation of local government.
Since the release of the panel’s report, NSW Minister for Local Government Don Page has reiterated the government would continue its ‘‘no forced amalgamations’’ approach.
He does, however, encourage local government to seriously consider mergers.
‘‘The reports show quite clearly that local government is facing many challenges and that no change is simply not an option if we want NSW to become number one again,’’ Mr Page said.
‘‘However, this change needs to be developed in partnership with councils and their communities.’’
When teenage sensation Jack Hammond arrived in Tongala with his dairy farming family in January, his name sparked interest in several coaches across the district.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons have secured a vital win over Wangaratta Magpies at JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
On Wednesday, April 22, 11 walkers from Shepparton Adventure Club travelled to Strathmerton then on to Ulupna Island.
Uniformed police are being plucked from the district’s 16-hour stations to work with one-member stations so officers are not patrolling on their own.
A Rochester woman who stole more than $250 worth of money, cigarettes and food from her workplace of four years has been convicted and fined $500, plus court costs.
The final 25 players have been chosen to represent the Goulburn Valley Football League in their quest to regain the number one football ranking in country Victoria.
A 640 000 bird proposal finally gets the green light from Strathbogie Shire Council.
Record cattle prices were recorded at the Finley Saleyards on Friday
People in rural and remote areas are significantly over-represented in the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
Barooga will host an information forum on the National Disability Insurance Scheme on Tuesday night.
The Deniliquin Rodeo Arena was in full swing for the recent Deniliquin Classic Barrel Race.
GrainCorp has announced an investment of $50 million to increase oilseed crushing capacity and efficiency at its Numurkah facility in Victoria.
Mark Soyer represented Australia at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Canada.
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.