Walcha, Oberon and Cabonne Councils have united in a legal challenge based around the claim that the Minister for Local Government misused Sections 218F of the Local Government Act to implement proposed forced amalgamations and that the subsequent Boundaries Commission process was procedurally inadequate and unfair.
Eminent Sydney Barrister Peter King has offered to act ‘pro bono’ for our united rural Council challenge in a bid to fight proposed forced amalgamation reform from the NSW Government. This is considered an extremely generous gesture and each Council is very appreciative for this commitment. As a result legal costs for each Council will be minimal.
It is advised that the action was filed in the Land & Environment court on Monday 18 April. A hearing date has now been set for 24 & 25 May.
The three united Councils are of the view that with the deadline for the Ministers/Premiers decision on proposed mergers fast approaching, we feel we are left with few options.
The concerns of our communities are neither being heard nor acknowledged; to be treated with such distain by our elected representatives is demeaning.
Although a significant decision our communities have overwhelmingly and consistently indicated its opposition to forced amalgamations and their overwhelming preference to continue as stand alone entities.
As a result our united Council’s feel comfortable with endorsing this course of action.
Mayor of Walcha Council, Janelle Archdale; Mayor of Oberon Council Kathy Sajowitz and Mayor of Cabonne Council, Ian Gosper