Canowindra faced with lack of representation

11-07-2018 by admin

VILLAGES and towns in the proposed Orange Regional Council will face a lack of representation according to the government’s own delegate’s report into the merger.
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The Amalgamation No Thank You (ANTY) committee say it is evidence the government is not interested in people in rural and regional areas and is willing to “totally ignore the evidence and wishes of communities state wide”.

The government’s delegate, Richard Pearson, found outlying towns and villages would suffer from a lack of electoral representation if the merger were to go ahead, but that could be countenanced by setting up various committees.

He recommended there be no wards set up in the proposed Orange Regional Council and recommended there be 12 councillors, one per 5218 residents.

ANTY chairman Jock Haynes said the hundreds of submissions sent by concerned residents, and the various hearings the government held were a waste of time and the recommendations by consultants KPMG were always going to be considered above residents’ concerns.

“[The delegate] has discounted any of the strong and detailed arguments presented therein, and has favoured the flimsy case and figures in the merger proposal from the NSW government and KPMG report,” Mr Haynes said.

Mr Pearson’s report said the lack of representation was a major concern of residents, particularly those in Cabonne but committees set up to represent these towns would ensure they had “a strong voice in shaping the priorities of the new council and how those priorities are delivered in towns and villages”.

The report said the Orange Regional Council would be $49 million better off over 20 years if the proposal were to go ahead.

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Local Government Minister Paul Toole described the creation of 19 new councils from 44 old ones as “the most comprehensive local government reform in more than 100 years”.

The fate of the three council areas is to be determined in a court hearing scheduled to start May 24 but may not be resolved until mid June.

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