The more the merrier for mayor of Cabonne

CABONNE Council mayor Ian Gosper has welcomed the opportunity to be part of a regional joint organisation if the state government accepts recommendations of a NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel.

The panel’s final report, released on Wednesday, recommends the formation of a joint organisation encompassing 12 central west councils to enhance strategic capacity and achieve efficiencies through collaboration and shared services.

Cr Gosper said Cabonne had long advocated further regional co-operation and resource sharing.

“We’ve been at the forefront of this type of local government reform for the past 10 years through our involvement in the Wellington Blayney Cabonne Strategic Alliance of Councils and we’ve recognised the potential to expand this model to include strategic planning, joint procurement and shared services on a wider regional basis,” he said.

The review panel said Cabonne’s future should not be reviewed until 2017.

It recommended it be referred to a reconstituted Boundaries Commission in 2017 to consider whether Cabonne would be part of a proposed central west joint organisation or amalgamate with Orange.

Cr Gosper stressed the panel’s proposals were merely recommendations to the government, which would have the final say on local government reform.

“However, the government has a policy of no forced amalgamations and Local Government Minister Don Page reiterated that policy this morning [Wednesday],” Cr Gosper said.

The mayor said Cabonne Council was one of the most financially sound in the state and was opposed to any form of amalgamation - a view that was overwhelmingly supported by Cabonne residents.

“A recent shire-wide survey showed 93 per cent of our residents did not want amalgamation and we’ve passed on those results to Mr Page and local state members of Parliament Andrew Gee and Troy Grant,” Cr Gosper said.

“We’ll continue to talk with the minister and both local MPs to achieve the best outcome for Cabonne ratepayers and residents.”

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