NSW Labor has condemned the Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock’s
decision to refuse Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (CGRC) and Snowy
Valleys Council (SVC) to demerge.
Following a review, the Local Government Boundaries Commission formed the formal
view – via the chairperson’s casting vote – that the demerger of CGRC was not
However, two members of the commission submitted a dissenting report, outlining why
they believed the council should be allowed to demerge.
The commission however recommended SVC be allowed to demerge but a dissenting
report again recommended the opposite.
The commission handed the report to the Minister in late February this year but it took
her almost five months to make a decision and reject both demergers.
Shadow Minister for Local Government, Greg Warren MP, said the Minister was having
a bet each way when really it should be the communities who decide the way forward.
“The communities of Snowy Valleys, Cootamundra and Gundagai should be able to
decide their own future, not Minister Hancock,” he said.
“The Minister and her government have used every excuse under the sun as to why
these councils shouldn’t be allowed to demerge.
“For once the Minister needs to listen to these communities and allow them to have a
referendum so they can decide whether they want to stay together or split.”
Shadow Minister for Regional NSW and NSW Labor Duty MLC for Cootamundra, Mick
Veitch MLC, said both communities were distraught.
“There was a glimmer of light at the end of a long and dark tunnel when the LGBC was
asked to look into the demergers,” he said.
“However today’s announcement is a terrible slight on all of the communities in these
two council areas.
“They should be provided with an opportunity to chart their own destiny.
“A demerger referendum is essential!”