History of Murrumbidgee Shire Council

Established in 1906, Murrumbidgee Shire Council covered an area of 3,508 square kilometres, including over 100 kilometres of natural river frontage to the Murrumbidgee River.

At the time of the merger with Jerilderie Shire Council, Murrumbidgee Shire had a population of 2,400 and was one of the fastest growing rural local government authorities in New South Wales.

MURRUMBIDGEE REMAINS AS PREMIER ANNOUNCES MERGER

Murrumbidgee has been retained with the announcement earlier today by the NSW Government of the outcome of a four year change process for the Local Government sector.

Mayor of Murrumbidgee, Cr Austin Evans welcomed the news that the name Murrumbidgee would be retained as a new entity was created to incorporate the whole of both the current shire and the former Jerilderie Shire.

The announcements were made during a media conference at 12.30pm when the Premier Mike Baird was joined by Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Local Government Minister Paul Toole.

Minister Toole said it would be business as usual for residents in new council areas, with services operating as normal.

Each new council will receive up to $10 million to meet the costs of merging, plus up to $15 million for investment in new community infrastructure and local communities will work with the new Councils to decide how those funds would be spent.

Cr Evans has been appointed as the Administrator of the new Murrumbidgee Council with the former Jerilderie General Manager Craig Moffitt appointed as Interim General Manager. Murrumbidgee Shire’s current Interim General Manager Phil Pinyon has been appointed as Deputy General Manager.

Cr Evans acknowledged that while not all members of the community would welcome the announcement, it was good news that millions of dollars would be made available to help create the new entity as well as deliver capital projects such as roads, pools, libraries and sporting fields within the new local government area.

“It is a time of change for all those involved in local government and an opportunity to create an entity that will continue to serve the Murrumbidgee community well into the future by building on the work that has been done in the past,” Cr Evans said.

“I look forward to working with the Councillors and community members from the former Jerilderie and Murrumbidgee Shires to ensure that the appropriate frameworks and policies are put in place to achieve the best outcomes moving forward.”

Key Facts

Population: 4,047

Area (sq Km): 6,880

Number of Wards: 3

Number of councillors per ward: 3

For further information, please visit https://www.strongercouncils.nsw.gov.au/ (link is external)

Community Comments on Merger Matter

Murrumbidgee Shire Council has considered the information obtained through surveys conducted with the local community on which merger options it preferred. Paper-based and online surveys closed on March 30 and the phone poll was undertaken on two evenings, March 30 and 31. The information gathered from these surveys was presented to an Extraordinary Meeting of Council on Monday, 4 April, 2016 and can be found HERE. An overview of the telephone poll can be found HERE.

At it's meeting on Monday, Council resolved as follows:

That Council:

a)    Note the information contained with the phone, paper-based and online survey reports.

b)   Present this information together with the financial analysis reports considered at the March 16 Ordinary meeting as its submission to the Delegate’s Inquiry into the whole of Jerilderie Shire merger proposal.

c)    Include as a covering letter, information to outline Council’s position in relation to the whole of Jerilderie merger proposal, that being that the Council and the Community’s position on the matter is divided.

d)   Formally write to the Mayor of Jerilderie Shire Council, Cr Ruth McRae advising of Council’s decision and submission details.

EXTRAORDINARY MEETING SETS FRAMEWORK FOR NEW COUNCIL

Local representation, meeting processes and timing were some of the key items resolved at an extraordinary meeting of Murrumbidgee Council in Darlington Point on Wednesday afternoon.

Council Administrator Austin Evans considered a number of reports prepared by the Interim General Manager, Craig Moffitt in relation to establishing the meeting framework until the election of a new Council in September 2017.

Amongst the reports were those that dealt with Council’s Code of Meeting Practice, Council’s Meeting Schedule, Council Committee Membership, Local Representation Committee (LRC), Council representatives on the Joint Regional Planning Panel and a Tender for the Construction of the Darlington Point Levee – Area 3.

Mr Evans determined that the Council’s future Ordinary Meetings would be held on the fourth Thursday of each month commencing at 10am and that the meetings would be held on a rotational basis between the Murrumbidgee Council service centres located in Darlington Point, Jerilderie and Coleambally.

The first Ordinary Meeting of Murrumbidgee Council is scheduled to be held on Thursday, June 23 at 10am in the Jerilderie Chambers at 35 Jerilderie St, Jerilderie.

Mr Evans said that the Code of Meeting Practice had been included in the Proclamation which formed the new Council and meetings would adhere to the Code of the former Jerilderie Shire, with the exception of the amendments to meeting dates, times and locations.

“It is essential from a transparency perspective that as many members of the community have access to Council’s decision making processes as possible as it works to create a new organisation to service the community’s needs,” Mr Evans said.

“By holding the meetings in each of the new centres, community members will have an opportunity to attend and hear firsthand the decisions that are being taken on their behalf.”

Mr Evans said that a decision on the makeup of Committees from the two former Councils was deferred until the newly appointed LRC could meet.

“This committee will play an integral role in providing input into the vision and priorities for the new Council and engaging with communities and stakeholders in planning our new Local Government Area, so its input into the makeup of community committees is extremely crucial,” he said.

The LRC will be chaired by Mrs Ruth McRae and the Deputy Chair will be Mr Phillip Wells.

Mrs McRae and Mr Wells were also appointed as Council’s representatives to the Western Region Joint Planning Panel with Mr Evans as the alternate delegate.