Representatives that wrote to Queen Elizabeth II about the controversy surrounding the forced council amalgamations have received a reply.
Following the NSW Government’s forced amalgamation of the Bombala Council with Cooma Monaro and Snowy River Shire Council’s on May 12, 2016, concerned residents decided to write to the Queen to inform Her Majesty of the outrage as what they saw as a breach of democracy initiated by the government.
Bombala’s letters were later reinforced by more letters from other communities affected by the amalgamations, saying they wanted the decisions reversed and needed help to do so.
Save Our Council Coalition (SOCC) representative Will Tuck of Mosman along with Delegate Progress Association president Penelope Judge and Kathy Cowley of Ku-ring-gai’s anti amalgamation group decided they were being ignored and it was time to take a further step.
“That was to explain to a different authority figure like the Queen about the issues at stake and why they wanted to tell her in writing what the people of NSW were being forced to endure,” Mr Tuck said.
“There was a definite air of anger that the former Bombala mayor, Bob Stewart heard that he and his councillors were sacked with no notice, no email or phone call and Bob hearing of his demise via ABC radio,” he said.
Mrs Judge said the letter was made as a symbolic gesture, with more than 500 letters to the Queen saying that the council merger plans had been widely rejected by residents in the affected councils.
Earlier this month a letter was received from Buckingham Palace displaying the royal crest.
Mrs Judge said the letter from the Queen held no surprises, Her Majesty was unable to intervene but advised initiators to consult with the Governor General.
“It was great that the Queen responded, which was a lot more than other representatives have done,” Mrs Judge said.