Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Eurobodalla Shire should consider looking West - Council Amalgamations.

Eurobodalla Shire should consider looking West - Council Amalgamations.

The Eurobodalla Ratepayers Association (ERA) wishes to advise that following the release of the IPART’S Fit for the Future results Eurobodalla Shire is now placed in a very exciting position.

As indicated by our local member Andrew Constance there are two Councils, Palerang and Queanbeyan to our west which have been deemed “unfit”. Both of these Councils have much in common and have shared interests with Eurobodalla.

More than thirty per cent of Eurobodalla rates are currently paid by the folks to our west; they choose to buy homes here and holiday on the South Coast. Our common interests include farming communities, rural and small businesses, tourism, and strong community interest in road safety on the Kings Highway; a combined effort would see the road vastly improved. Eurobodalla Council (ESC) is a member of the South East Region of Councils (SEROC), which includes Palerang and Queanbeyan.

The current, and previous Council, communicated the value of SEROC membership to ratepayers. These regions share our interests and would want to help build and share our future prosperity.
On ABC Local Radio, Member for Bega Andrew Constance continues to challenge councils in his electorate to think beyond being found ‘Fit for the Future’ to what they can do to ensure ratepayers get value for money and the services and infrastructure they deserve.
The answer seems clear. Eurobodalla Council has 30 days to broker a deal with Palerang and Queanbeyan to voluntarily merge. Council can then tap into the recently announced new Stronger Communities Fund, which provides each new council up to $15 million to invest in community infrastructure projects such as an Aquatic Centre or a Performing Arts Centre, and $10 million for each new council to ensure that ratepayers do not pay for the up-front costs of merging. This funding is only available to those mergers agreed to by councils and the NSW Government.

ESC cannot wait until amalgamation is made to happen and it is clear that the State government will amalgamate unfit councils with fit councils. ESC must approach the State government with a plan to amalgamate with Palerang and Queanbeyan or miss out on the money and opportunity.
 The ERA backs a merger between Eurobodalla, Palerang and Queanbeyan. It is an unexpected gift out of the ‘Fit for the Future’ process. It’s a chance to re-energise the shire, create jobs and opportunities for families and young people, and build better transport links.


  1. The IPart assessments for Palerang and Queanbeyan City Council are both available on the FFTF website and it is interesting to read both councils passed the Financial criteria: Satisfies overall,
    Sustainability, Satisfies and Infrastructure.service management, Satisfies, Efficiency, Satisfies.
    Scale and Capacity, does not satisfy
    I would like to see Eurobodalla Shire Council start amalgamation negotiations with both these councils, we have a great deal in common with them.
    Thank you ERA for having the foresight to put it out there for comment.

  2. What a pathetic response from those Councillors. Is it because amalgamation means they would have to stand down?


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