Cabonne residents slam merger

LESS than 7 per cent of Cabonne residents favour an amalgamation with Orange and Blayney, according to a recent independent survey.

The survey and subsequent village workshops, co-ordinated by consultants Campbell Jones Groupwork, demonstrated overwhelming support for Cabonne to remain in its present form.

Only 6.79 per cent of the 1650 people who returned survey forms favoured amalgamation, with a further 9 per cent wanting some form of boundary adjustment. Many of these residents wanted boundary adjustments only if an amalgamation was to occur.

Cabonne mayor Ian Gosper said the results were not surprising.

“The survey supported our belief the vast majority of residents and ratepayers did not want a merger, but it was essential we gave our residents a voice on this issue and an opportunity to express their opinions,” he said.

“The results will give us a very strong case to take to the state government, should council amalgamations be on the agenda.”

Cr Gosper said the response to the survey was outstanding.

“The number of forms returned represented 30 per cent of all households in Cabonne, which is an extremely high response rate.”

The survey followed an interim report by an Independent Local Government Review Panel which, among a number of recommendations, suggested an amalgamation of Cabonne, Orange City and Blayney Councils.

Cr Gosper said the panel’s suggestion was simply a preliminary proposal to the NSW government, which has already stated there will be no forced amalgamations. 

“This has been re-enforced by Local Government Minister Don Page and our local MPs Andrew Gee and Troy Grant,” he said.

“The survey results and the subsequent workshops will give the Minister and the government an accurate picture of what Cabonne residents want for their local government in the future.”

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