Bellingen Mayor Mark Troy will lead the Council in the fight against forced amalgamations.
Bellingen Mayor Mark Troy will lead the Council in the fight against forced amalgamations. Ute Schulenberg

Bellingen to stand with other MNC Councils for independence

BELLINGEN Shire Council will maintain the status quo and stand alone after making a submission to the NSW Government's Fit For The Future program on possible amalgamations.

Each NSW local authority was asked to submit a Council Improvement Proposal or Merger Proposal based on the Independent Local Government Review Panel's recommendations.

In Bellingen's case, along with the other Mid North Coast councils, the panel recommended that Bellingen Shire stand alone and be a member of a regional grouping of councils.

Mayor Mark Troy acknowledged the need for local government reform but said the Council in its response took a conservative and realistic approach, outlining the Shire's unique characteristics, levels of disadvantage as well as other influences and historical constraints that contribute to the current situation.

"The work of Council staff to address the requirements of the NSW Government's reform program has been mammoth," Cr Troy said.

"I am confident Council has put a strong case forward outlining its strategy for future and ongoing sustainability.

"It is now in the hands of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), the expert panel assessing council proposals and the NSW Government.

Cr Troy said he awaits the outcome of the Fit for the Future assessment process with the Minister due to make an announcement about the future of all local NSW councils around October/November.



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