Bombala voting power not enough to secure more than one spot on new regional council

A prospective councillor information session on Monday night heard the Bombala/Delegate region only has enough voting power to secure one seat come September.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council general manager Joe Vescio presented the session for prospective candidates in the upcoming local government elections on September 9.

President of the Bombala Chamber of Commerce Anne Maslin was one of the few people who attended, along with members of the Local Representative Committee.

Ms Maslin said she initially thought there would be three members of the former Bombala Council represented on the new Snowy Monaro Regional Council, but that’s not the case.

“On Monday evening, general manager Joe Vescio made it clear that the Bombala/Delegate region has only enough votes to secure 1.4 seats in the September election,” Ms Maslin said.

“This is the best case scenario if every voter from the former Bombala Shire backs only two candidates – which also means that Bombala/Delegate candidates must attract several hundred votes from outside the area in order to gain a mere two places on the 11-member Snowy Monaro Regional Council.”

One of the people who didn’t attend Monday night’s meeting was former Bombala mayor Bob Stewart, who said he would be putting his hand up for election.

“I would like to be involved in the process during the implementation of the new council.,” he said.

“It’s been a terrible process and the government should hang their head in shame.”

Ms Maslin said it was very worrying for voters and ratepayers in the former Bombala Council area.

“It’s clear that our local member, John Barilaro, has no plans to help us gain a strong voice in the future administration. It leaves the Bombala district in the possible position of having only one place on the new council.

“By anyone’s judgement, it is a poor exchange for having lost an entire council and this comes on top of further job losses in the Bombala Council workforce.

“Voters in this district are very worried at the prospect of having little or no voice on the new council,” she said.