MP wants merger review

Independent member for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr has reiterated calls for a review by the state government of the Snowy Valleys Council merger.

Dr McGirr said news of last week’s council sackings indicate the council is struggling to meet its requirements.

Dr McGirr, who has previously indicated his preference for a review of the merger, which occurred in 2016, said ratepayers concerns about the council were understandable.

“Obviously the announcement last week is a concern. Clearly council is trying extremely hard to provide the best services to the entire community of Snowy Valleys, but the practice of that is proving difficult,” Dr McGirr said. 

“I’ve always been against the idea of amalgamation and I think the views of the people in the electorate who have expressed concern about the amalgamation process have been justified.

“I remain concerned that the amalgamation has hindered services to the public,” he said.

Dr McGirr said that he sympathised with Snowy Valleys Council’s situation and understood that the council itself had been working extremely hard and under immense pressure to deliver to the community as well as meet the requirements outlined by Local Government.

He said that while he was concerned about the plight faced by those in Tumbarumba on the issue, his concerns were focused on the areas within his electorate which he said were badly enough affected in their own right.

“My understanding is that there had been some consultations occurring in Tumbarumba as a result,” he said.

“I would think that when amalgamation occurs it should be in the best interest of the townships which would be affected and in that light, I don’t think it was the best course of action,” he said.

The Save Tumbarumba Shire group is planning a rally this Saturday in Tumbarumba to once more call for the council to be demerged.