Re the extraordinary Council meeting Tuesday October 27, called by Crs Baker, Simmons and Toms.
The Office of Local Government on October 20 sent a circular to all councillors, General Managers & all council staff.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) classified Clarence Valley Council not fit for the future (along with 60% of councils in NSW).
The key points of what this will mean for your council are:
Councils have until November 18 to provide feedback.
Councils that are assessed as being not fit due to the scale and capacity, or who neighbour a council that is not fit due to scale and capacity. The government would also like to know, through the online portal, the merger preference of these councils.
Funding will be available for council mergers.
The Cr Baker proposal was a serious attempt to place a debt reduction and efficient operational plan before the state government; a plan to avoid a merger with Coff Harbour or an administrator.
This was rejected by Mayor Williamson and four other councillors, (Lysaught, Howe, Kingsley, Williamson & Mckenna who liked some of the motion).
The Mayor then proceeded with an alternative motion to sell off a minimum of $5 million assets; a knee jerk reaction that solves nothing.
These five councillors are in denial of how serious the crisis is, putting their heads in the sand until their council meeting on Tuesday 17. The deadline is Wednesday 18. Too bloody little too late. Or do they want to join Coff Harbour?
Let’s try and do something right, clearly the Lower Clarence and Grafton district amalgamation has not worked, as they are not a fit council for the future.
I propose that the Lower Clarence amalgamate with Richmond River Council and Grafton and district goes with Coffs Harbour.
That is; tourist and farming councils join and two great cities join.
Mayor Williamson here is an opportunity to help resolve the problem, your statement on the ABC suggesting that the Council is financially ok at the present, but has a long term problem, is like having a family living on a credit card to make ends meet… just bloody stupid and without a solution now.
John Riggall, Maclean