Boorowa Council - To Consider Its Future

Approved for release by:  Mayor Wendy Tuckerman

Date for release: 27 October 2015

Media Contact:  Mayor Wendy Tuckerman

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BOOROWA COUNCIL TO CONSIDER ITS FUTURE

With the NSW Governments recent release of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal report on the Assessment of Local Council Fit for the Future Proposals, Councils across the region now have a tough decision to make in relation to their future.

The report identified that 60% of Councils across the state are not fit for the future and the Government has called on Councils that are not fit to find a merger partner.

The report considered two merger proposals within the region, the first being a merger of Harden and Cootamundra Shires and the second being a merger of Boorowa, Harden Shire and Young Shire.

In the report, IPART assessed the Harden and Cootamundra merger as fit, whilst making an assessment that a Boorowa and Young merger would also result in a new Council that is “fit”. Furthermore the report identified that a merger of the four Councils would result in far greater community outcomes through enhanced strategic capacity and operating efficiencies.

According to Boorowa Mayor Wendy Tuckerman, Councils now need to make a decision on what is best for the future of their communities.

“From our perspective it is obvious that a merger of three or four Councils will deliver greater long term benefits for the region rather than two separate mergers which has been reinforced by all the studies and reports conducted to date” she said.

The NSW Government has offered financial incentives for groupings of Councils that agree to merge by an 18 November deadline, with a strong message that the Government will move ahead with forced mergers after that date if required.

“Our first step is to seek agreement from all four Councils to merge and should agreement not be reached we will consider whether a voluntary merger with Young is in the best long term interest of our community” said Mayor Tuckerman.

“At this stage we are planning to hold an extraordinary Council meeting in the second week of November where we will make a final decision on our response back to the Government on a potential merger” she said.

The NSW Government has made it clear they intend to move forwards with major reform to Local Government across the State and intend to have new Council boundaries drawn up by Christmas this year.

ENDS

Mayor Wendy Tuckerman