BIG DECISION: Councillors and staff at last week’s extraordinary meeting at the Roxy Theatre, where it was decided to fight to standalone. LEETON Shire Council mayor Paul Maytom is glad neighbouring councils have all decided to fight the state government on amalgamations.
At an extraordinary meeting last Monday, councillors voted for Leeton shire to remain as a standalone entity.
Submissions to the state government on what direction each local government area in NSW wanted to take were due last week.
Those wanting to merge had to inform the government, while those hoping to standalone will now push to do so.
Since last week’s meeting, more than 200 letters from Leeton shire residents have been sent to Member for Murray and Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli to show their support for council’s decision.
Neighbouring shires such as Narrandera and Murrumbidgee also held extraordinary meetings that were well attended by community members and also decided they would fight to remain as they were.
Griffith also wishes to be a standalone council.
“It is a good thing that everyone seems to be on the same page,” councillor Maytom said.
“It’s certainly their prerogative to decide what way they want to go, but from our point of view it’s pleasing that everyone wants to fight this and try and head in the same direction.
“It’s only been all of a sudden that the word amalgamations has come into play, which is just ridiculous.
“While not every council in our region was deemed to be “fit for the future”, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
“These councils have shown they can be effective and sustainable.”
Cr Maytom was also concerned about possible joint organisations and how they would work.
“We definitely want to put out there that we are willing to work with our neighbours to be as effective and sustainable as possible,” he said.
“Already we share numerous resources, so we would be happy to work out how to do things even more efficiently.
“It’s just disappointing that everything continues to remain up in the air.”
Council is due to find out by the end of the year if the government will allow it to remain as a standalone entity.
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