Bombala calls for demerger from Snowy Monaro Council

A recent public meeting in Bombala attended by more than 100 people found support for a demerger from Snowy Monaro Regional Council. 

WANTING CHANGE: The candidates for Monaro stand with members of the Save Bombala Inc committee at the meeting held at Bombala High School.

WANTING CHANGE: The candidates for Monaro stand with members of the Save Bombala Inc committee at the meeting held at Bombala High School.

The meeting was held to ask candidates standing for Monaro at the next state election whether or not they would agree to hold a plebiscite on a demerger for the Bombala Shire Council from the Snowy Monaro Regional Council.

The majority of candidates present agreed with the proposal - Labor’s Bryce Wilson, The Greens’ Peter Marshall, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ Mick Holton and independent Andrew Thaler. 

The only candidate who did not support the proposal was current Member for Monaro John Barilaro. 

Save Bombala Inc spokesperson Penelope Judge said the meeting went very well and was very rigidly organised.

“We made sure we were sticking to the single topic of amalgamations, we made it clear we did not want council bashing,” she said. 

She said receiving support from the four candidates made her feel vindicated. 

Members of the Bombala community unanimously pass the motion.

Members of the Bombala community unanimously pass the motion.

“This is a fight we’ve had for more than three years,” she said.

“We were fighting because we felt it wasn’t just or fair.” 

At the end of the meeting a motion was passed unanimously on moving forward with a petition as the first step for having a plebiscite. 

“We feel we’ve got the go-ahead from the community to say ‘let’s fight’,” Ms Judge said. 

There were numerous reasons why she felt Bombala Shire should split from Snowy Monaro, saying there were very few similarities between councils. 

She said the Bombala region had seen a loss of jobs since the amalgamation as council jobs had been taken away, which had a knock on effect in the town as, for instance, if one family had to leave due to a loss of job then they would have to take their children from the school. 

Also, she said many services that used to be available at the council building had gone and there had been no major infrastructure improvements since amalgamation. 

Candidates for Monaro John Barilaro, Peter Marshall, Bryce Wilson, Mick Holton and Andrew Thaler.

Candidates for Monaro John Barilaro, Peter Marshall, Bryce Wilson, Mick Holton and Andrew Thaler.

Ms Judge believed the issue of demerging from Snowy Monaro Regional Council would be at the forefront of many people’s minds in the Bombala community when it came to election time. 

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