Clarence Valley Council’s first mayor, Dr Ian Tiley, has been appointed to oversee the amalgamation of the Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra councils – now known as Armidale Regional Council.
Dr Tiley, who will administer the council until elections are held in September 2017, said he was “looking forward to the exciting challenges” ahead.
He said his new position also entailed a “mayoral role” and that his previous experience, both in administration and publically elected roles, was “vital”.
“I will be addressing the local democratic deficit,” he said, “and implementing similar strategies used with the Clarence Valley Council [such as councillors tours] to get out and meet the rural communities.”
“I’ve met with staff; it’s business as usual, jobs are secure and, together, we will make sure the new council is built for success and functioning well by the time of the election next year.”
Dr Tiley, who is a research fellow at the University of New England’s business school, has published several books that examine the processes and outcomes of amalgamation, with a strong focus on the Clarence Valley Council amalgamation.
The NSW Government said it will conduct a review of the state’s newly amalgamated councils, the bulk of which are in Sydney, in four years to ensure the communities are “continuing to benefit from stronger councils”.
Minister for Local Government Paul Toole said in a media release that it will be business as usual for residents in the new council areas, with services operating as normal.
“Each new council will receive up to $10 million to meet the costs of merging and up to an additional
$15 million to kick start new investment in community infrastructure through the Stronger Communities Fund,” he said.
“New councils and their communities will decide how to spend their community funds. Projects could include pools, libraries, sporting fields, car park expansions or grants to junior sporting groups.”