When Coolamon was named as fit to continue as a rural council, the shire’s mayor John Seymour thought his community was in the clear as far as amalgamations were concerned.
But with reports the government is set to ditch the rural council model set out in the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s report into the state of NSW councils, Cr Seymour admits he’s once again concerned about Coolamon’s future.
“We’ve become fairly concerned what would happen if they didn’t really accept (the rural council model),” he said.
Cr Seymour said the council was opposed to being amalgamated with any of its neighbours, however that position could change depending on the outcome of a community meeting with ratepayers to be held on November 16.
“We’ll throw everything on the table and I suppose it’s up to them to decide which way to go,” he said.
Cr Seymour, along with member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson, will meet with Local Government Minister Paul Toole on Thursday morning in an attempt to clarify Coolamon’s position.
“There are lots of things flying around the place, so I just want to sit down with Paul (Toole) and Coolamon and find out exactly what’s going on,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
A number of councils in Ms Hodgkinson’s electorate, including Coolamon and Temora, have expressed opposition to being merged with any of their neighbours, and she said she would support them if their final positions were anti-amalgamation.
“There certainly are some (councils) that are very firm on that at this time, but they’re still consulting with their communities,” she said.
“Whatever they end up with as their final submission, as their local MP I’ll support them.”
Shadow Minister for Local Government Peter Primrose told the Advertiser on Wednesday the government needed to provide certainty to councils about the “chaotic” reform process.
“The uncertainty at this stage is totally unnecessary,” Mr Primrose said.
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