MEDIA RELEASE - information sessions in Darlington Point & Coleambally
Jerilderie Shire Council outlines alternative merger proposal at information sessions in Darlington Point & Coleambally
Close to one hundred people attended each of two information sessions held in regional NSW this week to learn about a proposal by Jerilderie Shire Council to merge wholly with Murrumbidgee Shire versus the NSW Government’s proposal to split Jerilderie Shire north and south along the Yanco Creek.
The NSW Government’s Fit For the Future proposal want to merge the south of Jerilderie Shire with Berrigan Shire and the north with Murrumbidgee Shire. Jerilderie Shire Council resolved at its January 26 Ordinary Meeting to submit an alternative proposal to the NSW Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Paul Toole, MP, to be considered concurrently with his Government’s split-merger plan.
Jerilderie Shire Mayor Ruth McRae, fellow Councillors and Council staff, led the information sessions in Darlington Point on Tuesday evening and Coleambally on Wednesday night.
Mayor McRae said her Council believes the alternative proposal offers a stronger, more viable and lasting future for the involved communities of Jerilderie, Darlington Point and Coleambally.
“Whereas the current Government merger proposal would make the expanded Murrumbidgee Shire the smallest Council in the state, our concept would lift us to become the 8th smallest among other many benefits,” Mayor McRae said.
“Residents at both information sessions showed interest in hearing the details of our proposed full merger, which shows increased scale and capacity with an absence of staff disruption. We were encouraged by both the consideration and input of attendees and very pleased to receive their feedback.
Jerilderie’s General Manager Craig Moffitt said the alternative proposal presents increased savings identified by the business case and the support for each of the three communities.
“Among the many benefits outlined, we feel the ‘whole’ merger concept supports Jerilderie’s successful engineering enterprise, which will enhance activities in the proposed merged Council, particularly the prospects of expanding contracting work for the State Government on main roads,” Mr Moffitt said.
“This will not only strengthen the Jerilderie township, it will provide expansion in Darlington Point and Coleambally as the activity grows. Additionally, our proposal acknowledges the strength of Darlington Point as the administration centre for the new Shire,” Mr Moffitt added.
Mayor McRae and Mr Moffitt said they are additionally encouraged and buoyed by the recent statements of their Shire’s Federal Representative the Hon. Sussan Ley, MP and Local Representative, Member for Albury, Greg Aplin, in opposition to the NSW Government’s split-merger proposal. Both support Council’s alternative.
In the meantime, the NSW Government will host two Public Inquiry meetings regarding its proposal on Wednesday February 10 at Berrigan War Memorial from 9-11am, and Jerilderie Sports Club between 2pm and 4pm, and Thursday February 11 at Coleambally Community Club, 9am-11am, and Jerilderie Sports Club from 2pm to 4pm.
Members of the public are required to register to attend both Public Inquiry meeting by clicking on the following links:
Written submissions to the Public Inquiries will be accepted until 5pm on Sunday February 28, 2016. For questions or media inquiries, please contact Craig Moffitt at Jerilderie Shire Council on (03) 5886 1200.
"Jerilderie Shire Mayor Ruth McRae sharing details of her Council's alternative merger proposal for Murrumbidgee Shire with residents at Darlington Point during an information session on Tuesday February 2, 2016."
"Close to 100 residents attended an information session held at Coleambally to hear the details of an alternative merger proposal being put forth by Jerilderie Shire Council."