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Byron Shire
October 8, 2022

Kyogle votes to remain a stand-alone council

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Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland. (file pic)
Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland. (file pic)

Darren Coyne

Kyogle Shire Council has voted 5/4 to remain a stand-alone council and reject any proposals for a merger.

Mayor Danielle Mulholland told Echonetdaily that the motion prompted vigorous debate, and was perhaps the most important decision the council would make during its current term.

Cr Mulholland maintained that Kyogle had been unfairly identified in a state government review as not being ‘fit for the future’.

‘When the government first released the template the definition of a rural council was 10,000 and under and then they changed that to 5000 and under.

She said although the council was found to be econonomically sound, it was marked down in areas of scale and capacity.

‘We’re now making a case for our scale and capacity, which we didn’t do for the rural council template.

Cr Mulholland said under the current Local Government Act councils could not be forcibly merged.

And with parties including Labor, the Greens, Christian Democrats and the Fishers and Shooters in the upper house indicating they would not support forced mergers, the government’s only way to go about it would be through the Boundaries Commission.

‘Even then there still has to be put a public inquiry, public submissions and community engagement,’ she said.

Cr Mulholland said the best way to improve local government was to fix the funding model, not by forcing amalgamations.

‘Keith Rhodes, the president of the Local Government Association of NSW has sadi the association has been calling for meaningful funding reform for year, not structural change.

Kyogle now has until November 18 to put its case to the government to remain a standalone council.

Meanwhile, Lismore City Council will tonight vote on whether to pursue a merger.

Senior staff have recommended, however, that councillors reject any suggestions of a merger with Kyogle, or any other council.

In a report to tonight’s meeting, executive staff have outlined the case against an amalgamation, arguing that while an amalgamation would improve services in Kyogle, Lismore residents would be paying for it.

In a costs and benefits analysis, Lismore staff say a merger would provide a boost of $10.5 million over 10 years, the benefits were marginal in a budget of around $100 million.

‘The most important aspect of note is that the costs of the merger are born disproportionately by Lismore residents and the benefits, albeit marginal, of the merger are almost exclusively gained by residents of Kyogle,’ the staff report says.

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  1. What is happening to Regional Councils is a direct consequence of rampant Liberalism.

    Starve them of funds so they become ineffective then replace them with private enterprise to provide the services.

    Those entities providing the services will probably be foreign enterprises and the employees will not enjoy the wages and conditions that current council employees have become accustomed to nor will the service be of the same standard.

    Baird and Turnbull are steadily devouring your standard of living.

    The only way to put a stop to this is to vote for representatives who do not support liberalism. At the next election ask your local candidate whether he or she supports replacement of government provided services with those provided by private enterprise and if they don’t what do they intend to do to fight against it.


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