Anti-merger reps confront NSW Premier

Tumbarumba residents burn documents signifying forced amalgamations.

Tumbarumba residents burn documents signifying forced amalgamations.

AN ANTI-MERGER group has confronted NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian about Tumbarumba’s forced council amalgamation. 

Tumbarumba’s ex-mayor Ian Chaffey joined several infuriated residents during a half-an-hour meeting with Ms Berijiklian at parliament house on Tuesday. 

Despite the effort, the NSW Government provided no assurances of a future de-merger. 

“The government’s stance is that the mergers will continue,” Mr Chaffey said. 

“This is just one of the early steps in our process.

“A lot of it rests with the decision of the Save Our Shire organisation in Tumbarumba.”

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Member John Preston spoke at Tumbarumba’s latest protest, expressing his disgust at amalgamation policies. 

“I’m terribly sorry some bright spark down in Sydney thought it would be a good idea,” he said.

“When you are in a country town  and it’s you against the world, your first port of call to government is via your local council. 

“You don’t mess with that, and these guys simply don’t get that.” 

An extensive list of those in support of Save Tumbarumba Shire’s crusade includes the Protect Pittwater Association, comedian GH Nelson and radio broadcaster Alan Jones. 

As part of their war on forced mergers, the group staged a community rally in Tumbarumba last week, burning documents with candles that represented the process. 

March participant Dean Geyer said the state government has “robbed” the town of independence.

“It’s heinous, illegal and we won’t stand for it,” he said. 

“We will never quit fighting – even if it takes us two years to reach an outcome.

“This won’t just be swept under the rug.”

The Save Tumbarumba Shire group has now planned to hijack a commnunity cabinet meeting in Griffith on Thursday, August 17.

“This is a great chance (for us) to again tell Gladys that we demand to be de-merged,” a post from the page read. 

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