Shire amalgamations

Committed to Lachlan-Staff forego $2 million in benefits to ‘Keep Lachlan Local’

Robert Hunt, General Manager of Lachlan Shire, is committed to keeping Lachlan Shire from amalgamation.

Lachlan shire Mayor, John Medcalf,  is standing up for the Lachlan Shire to ‘stand alone’ into the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Melissa Blewitt

Lachlan Shire Council staff have chosen to forego $2 million in benefits in a bid to keep Lachlan local.

Employees agreed to forego a significant benefit in their Enterprise Agreement, worth $2 million over eight years, in a final attempt to demonstrate to the State Government that the Lachlan Shire should stand alone.

In the recent Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) report LSC was deemed not “fit for the future” due to scale and capacity as it has a projected population of less than 10,000.

This is despite LSC meeting the various other financial, infrastructure and efficiency criteria.

The Report also questioned Council’s ability to provide cost effective services with such a small population.

“Council staff should be congratulated on making this decision to ensure LSC does provide cost effective services and to enable additional funding from these savings to be allocated to new infrastructure for the benefit of the community,” Mayor John Medcalf said.

“Staff have supported this reduction in working conditions knowing that in a recent independent community survey over 68 per cent of the community supported a 33 per cent rate rise over four years, commencing next financial year.

“This clearly demonstrates to the NSW Minister for Local Government the commitment and dedication that local people have to keeping “Lachlan Local” and not merging with another council area.

“LSC should not be compared to city or regional centres. We are a rural and remote Local Government area servicing a highly productive agricultural region and providing services to our communities above and beyond what is usually expected of a council, including maintenance of the largest road network of any council in NSW, a mobile long day care service to remote villages, medical centre facilities, a retirement village/nursing home, indoor sports centre and home and community care services.

“Council provides these services as this is what our locals require to ensure their needs, or the needs of their family, are met.”

Council will formulate a response to the IPART report findings and submit that response to the Office of Local Government on Wednesday, 18 November. LSC expects a final decision from the NSW State Government before Christmas.

Locals Support Lachlan Shire

 

The preliminary results from the independent survey taken late last week have been received and it shows 68 per cent of people surveyed do not want to merge with Parkes Shire Council.

The Argus is urging all residents to write to their local member and say resounding NO to almalgamations. Fill in the form on the front page and return it to the Argus by Wed 11th November.

By Melissa Blewitt

The preliminary results from the independent survey taken late last week have been received and it shows 68 per cent of people surveyed do not want to merge with Parkes Shire Council.

This is despite a proposed 34 per cent rate increase over four years from next year, the $5 million State Government incentive for the new entity to build infrastructure and the $5 million from the State Government to cover merger costs. The survey of 254 households has a plus or minus 6 per cent error factor which means had we surveyed every resident the result would have been in the range of 62 per cent – 74 per cent against any merger.

Take the time to fill out the Argus survey form (BELOW) and return it to the office by 12 noon on Wednesday, 11 November.

“This result provides solid support for Lachlan Shire to remain independent and the views of the community will be conveyed to the State Government in Council’s submission which is due by the 18th November,” Council’s General Manager Robert Hunt said.

The Mayors and General Managers of the Mid Lachlan Alliance (Forbes, Weddin, Lachlan and Parkes Shire Councils) met to discuss the recently released IPART Report regarding the Fit for the Future Proposals last Tuesday.

The consensus of the Mid Lachlan Alliance was that the time available before the November 18 deadline for responses will be used to seek feedback from their communities.

Before the IPART Report was released, all four Councils were in a position where their communities wanted to stand alone in the future.

All Councils agreed that the views of their communities are very important and this survey will give community members the chance to present their feedback regarding standing alone or merging with another Council.

Editors Opinion

Now is the time to stand up for Lachlan standing alone.

We have to do everything in our power to stop forced amalgamations.

WE have to say NO, and call out the State Government on their shortsighted strategy.

Take the time to fill out the Argus, The Lachlander or any survey form that helps show support for Lachlan Shire Council to stand alone.

The Lachlander survey form needs to be returned to PO Box 154, Condobolin, 2877 or placed in the ‘Have your Say’ containers at The Lachlander office or the Condobolin Newsagency in Bathurst Street by 12 noon on Monday, 9 November.The Condobolin Argus survey form needs to be returned to the Argus office at 93 Bathurst Street, by 12 noon on Wednesday, 11 November.

This is a vital part of helping to keep Lachlan Local.  MB

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