MESSAGE IS CLEAR: Locals rally to oppose the amalgamation of Bellingen Shire Council.
MESSAGE IS CLEAR: Locals rally to oppose the amalgamation of Bellingen Shire Council. Contributed

Pushing to keep Bellingen local

LOCALS rallied on Monday afternoon to oppose the possible amalgamation of Bellingen Shire Council under the NSW Government's Fit for the Future program.

Greens candidate for Cowper Carol Vernon led the rally in Maam Gaduying Park outside Bellingen Library.

Ms Vernon said Bellingen Shire Council staff members were local and accessible.

"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," she said.

"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."

Ms Vernon said not to expect lower rates if an amalgamation were to go ahead.

Councils have until today to respond to IPART's report on local governments and to volunteer for mergers.



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