Bega Valley Shire councillors have responded to a request from Bombala Shire Council that the two organisations consider a merger.
Councillors yesterday resolved to consider the Bega Valley Shire’s position at an Extraordinary Council meeting later this month.
The Bombala Shire Council request follows the release of an IPART report indicating the financial ‘fitness’ of NSW councils.
Mayor, Michael Britten said he was pleased the IPART report found Bega Valley Shire Council to be ‘fit for the future’, and that in good faith Bega Valley should consider all information before resolving its position.
“Particularly, council needs to consider if a merger could benefit the shire and be aware of any potential impacts or opportunities.
“The NSW Government has been very clear of its intentions to modernise the boundaries and performance of the state’s Local Government Areas,” he said.
“We are in a position now where we can look at either continuing on our current path as well as review what a merger with a neighbouring council can offer, how it can satisfy state government’s push to modernise, and more importantly, how it can benefit us as a financially sustainable shire.
“Bombala Shire has approached us, indicating a preference to merge with a financially fit coastal council over their inland neighbours which have been classified as not fit in the IPART report.
“Our next step is to thoroughly investigate this option, and a merger will only be considered if it means we continue as a financially sound organisation with its own identity.
“The NSW government has requested all councils to decide their future options by Friday, November 18, and we will reach a decision at an Extraordinary Council meeting on Monday, November 16.
“Until that date, we have much investigation, discussion and consultation to do,” Clr Britten said.
The Extraordinary Council meeting is in the council chambers at 2pm on Monday, November 16.
The public are welcome to attend.