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.’’
A Nagambie teenager who suffered serious facial injuries after falling from her dirt bike at high-speed in October last year waited 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.
After what she went through 10 months ago, there could not have been a more popular 2016 Lady Club Champion of Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort than Judy Langford.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
BRADY Threlfall is fast – over 20km, or 30km or even 42.2km (when he’s running a marathon).
NEW Yorta Yorta ‘welcome to country’ signs welcoming travellers to parts of north central Victoria were installed on the Northern Hwy just outside of Rochester and in Cohuna on Wednesday.
Six Kyabram boys will take part in this years Goulburn Murray V/Line Cup.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
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.
THE Holy Rosary Primary School community said a sad farewell on Friday to office manager Joan Short who retired after 38 years at the school.
This week the Cobram Courier and McPherson Media Group are launching a campaign to support the dairy industry, which has been hit by major milk price cuts.
Local owners stoked with horses success.
A Melbourne academic has some tough things to say about dairy, and Country News editor, Geoff Adams has a few responses.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.