Angry residents from across the state demanded action on failed mergers at Parliament House on 9 August. The rally was jointly organised by Demerge NSW Alliance (DNA) and Sydney’s Residents for Deamalgamation
Around 100 people attended from right across the state. People travelled from Guyra, Tumbarumba, Bombala and Gundagai to speak with Labor Shadow Minister for Local Government, Greg Warren and Shooters Fishers and Farmer’s Robert Borsak. Green’s Kobi Shetti on behalf of Green’s MP Jamie Parker and Dr Joe Mc Girr, Independent member for Wagga rounded out the State politicians speaking.
Greg Warren, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Local Government, restated their position on giving the community a vote on demerging. All of the politicians supported the need to have communities vote on the future of their council.
Community speakers included Canterbury Bankstown Independent Councillor Barbara Coorey who spoke on the historic move made by the largest council in the state to prepare a business case to demerge. The Council vote was unanimous.
The Gundagai community were well represented on the day as they await the Minister’s decision on the demerger of their council. The Boundaries Commission recently recommended that Cootamundra Gundagai Council be demerged citing mental health issues and loss of community identity as issues stemming from the mergers.
Hilltops Councillor Brain Ingram also spoke on the failures of the merger of Young, Harden and Boorowa Councils. Councillor Ingram was a Mayor at Young Council and also Mayor of the merged Hilltops Council. Clr Ingram said that the smaller towns are being destroyed by this process.
From Save and Grow Guyra in the North to Save Tumbarumba in the South the message was the same - communities want their council back and they will take this fight all the way to the March state elections.