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.’’
There is a large fast moving bush fire at the Tallarook Ranges.
With her effective left hand in particular, Chelsea Hanley retained the Victorian Under 17 junior welterweight title last Sunday with a convincing points decision victory.
It has been a successful year for Bega Cheese, which reflects on Tatura Milk Industries, with chair Barry Irvin announcing recently that Bega Cheese’s normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was $55.7 million and normalised profit after tax of $22 million.
ECHUCA-MOAMA'S Xavier Campbell has been shortlisted for a major international award.
SEVENTY-FIVE years ago, men of the 2/21st and 2/22nd Battalions of the Australian Imperial Forcemarched from Euroa to Violet Town, a 20 kilometre trek.
Great Race helps a great cause
Hundreds flock to Avenel to learn a thing or three.
Tocumwal Lions Club has plans to purchase the Bowling Club site for an aged care facility, which will only happen if the merger between the Tocumwal bowls and golf clubs proceeds.
A NASTY run-in with a kangaroo on the Northern Hwy between Melbourne and Echuca has convinced one regular traveller on the road the question of a cull needs to be addressed.
Three Cobram teens have been arrested by police after they allegedly stole tractors from Cobram and Tocumwal and caused about $30 000 in damage.
Whether you fancy a flutter on the Caulfield Cup or the local cup, the Deniliquin racecourse is the place to be on Saturday, October 17.
The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has acknowledged the completion of negotiations under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), noting modest but important gains made for the Australian dairy industry in improving access to global markets.
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.