Boundary adjustment stalled after old petition submitted

EAST Cabonne residents asking for council boundary changes have been left without a clear way forward following suggestions the matter might not be dealt with until after the state election.

Residents lodged the application in March last year, asking to leave Cabonne in favour of joining Orange. 

The possibility of lower rates and a closer relationship with their community of interest drove the change, but 15 months later, residents are no closer to their goal. 

Guy Gaeta hosted a function at his home in February 2017, which deputy premier John Barilaro attended.

“He told us after the byelection boundary adjustments were very possible,” he said.

However, the submission was returned to the residents in June because they had used a petition from 2011 to support their cause.

They were instructed to bring back a new petition to be audited by the NSW Electoral Commission.

But Mr Gaeta said a government staffer told him Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton would not consider boundary adjustments until after the March state election. 

“We were getting the signatures, we were up to about 50 signatures,” he said.

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Mr Gaeta, a Nationals member, said he was disappointed in the party. 

“You can do all the studies you want, east Cabonne doesn’t belong [in Cabonne],” he said. 

“I’ve just about given up.

“We’ll have to wait ‘til the election and see who wins and maybe try again.”

A spokesman for Mr Barilaro said all applications for boundary adjustments would be considered by the NSW Government where they followed the correct process under the Local Government Act.

Ms Upton echoed the comment, saying boundary changes took many months, with an assessment by the Office of Local Government to decide whether the Act had been satisfied.

If cleared, the application would be referred to OLG or the Boundaries Commission for examination and report before she would consider it.

“All applications received from community members are treated in this way.”