Call to keep Bellingen Council independent
A RALLY has been organised in opposition to the possible amalgamation of Bellingen Shire Council under the NSW Government's Fit for the Future program.
The Save Bellingen Shire Council meeting and rally will be staged at 4.30pm this Monday, in Maam Gaduying Park outside Bellingen Library.
Cowper Greens candidate Carol Vernon is joining Greens Bellingen Shire Councillor Dominic King to urge locals to take a stand.
Ms Vernon said Bellingen Shire Council staff were local, accessible and helpful.
"The size of our shire does not make it less efficient than some of the largest councils in NSW which are even more financially stressed.
"Bigger isn't better in this case.
"What does affect our shire is the cost shifting by state government and the rate-pegging which affects all councils."
She said not to expect lower rates if amalgamation went ahead.
"The state government wants to make large councils, depersonalise our shires and establish new planning laws to fast-track development that will greatly reduce the ability of residents to object to poor planning."