Orange City Council misses first round of council mergers
NSW premier Mike Baird, Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Local Government Minister Paul Toole held a media conference in Sydney Thursday 12 May to announce further details of proposed council mergers.
The bottom line : While the government is going ahead immediately with the amalgamations to create 19 new councils, Orange City Council is on the list of nine new proposed new councils where a merger is still pending.
The government has decided not to go ahead with a further 14 proposed mergers.
While Orange and Blayney councils told the government in formal submissions it would accept a merger, there has been recent media coverage about Cabonne Council's plans to challenge the merger proposal in court. The court challenge has been set down for 24/25 May.
According to a media release issued today : "Subject to the decision of the courts, the Minister has announced his in principle support for the" ... merger of Blayney, Cabonne and Orange Councils.
It's not known how long the court challenge could take to be resolved.
Mayor in Sydney on announcement day
Orange Mayor John Davis was in Sydney for a meeting of CENTROC on the day the latest decisions were announced.
“We are surprised it has happened today but the minister had little option but to announce that these first round of mergers would go ahead,“ Cr John Davis said.
“It’s unfortunate that the creation of another fourteen new councils, including Blayney, Cabonne & Orange has been delayed by a court challenge.”
“If it’s going to happen, let’s get on with it.”
“There are many, many changes to be made between now and September next year when the new council elections will be held. The longer we have to wait before we get started, the less time there’ll be to get the work done.”
“If a merger is to go ahead for Blayney, Cabonne and Orange the details of how that will proceed will be contained in the proclamation. On that we will have to wait and see.”
“In the meantime we will be providing services, running facilities, meeting the needs of the residents of the Orange City Council area and getting on with the job.”Merger plans unveiled
A merger of Dubbo and Wellington councils is among the nineteen councils to be announced today. The name of the new body, to include both Dubbo and Wellington councils, will be 'Western Plains Regional Council.'
A merged Boorowa, Harden and Young council will be known as Hilltops Council.
There are more details about the merger proposal on the NSW Government's Stronger Councils website, including :
- A map of the proposal new boundaries of the proposed Cabonne, Blayney, Orange council area
- Funding available for councils which merge.
The website also provides information about the government's plans for implementing the changes surrounding a council merger, including that :
- The new merged council organisation would be run by a general manager and an administrator
- The new round of council elections would happen in September 2017.
- There would also be "Local Representation Committees, formed by the Administrator for each of the former council areas, to provide advice on local views and issues."
The Stronger Councils website also includes an FAQs page