From Andrew Page in the Radio Snowy Mountains Newsroom:
Country Labor Candidate for Monaro Steve Whan has expressed concerns on how the NSW State Government is handling it's policy on Council Amalgamations.
Mr Whan said the government appears to talking about what it wants to do, before listening to the interests of the community.
“The Premieres speech to the local government conference once gain ramps up his rhetoric about amalgamations and it's pretty clear, despite the fact that the government is still saying that this is voluntary, that the Premiere is getting stronger and stronger in everything he says,” Mr Whan said.
“He's pushing councils before they've even had a chance to talk to their communities about this and that's a critical thing,” He said.
“This shouldn't be about what the Premiere or even what councillors want, it's about what the community wants”
Monaro MP John Barilaro says the choice will remain in the power of local councils, despite the refusal of the Premiere to give a direct re-assurance earlier in the week.
“There's in excess of 60 recommendations across the local government sector, this Fit for the future about mergers is only one part of it, this is a range of policies that's been called for to strengthen local government,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We know how important it is, we want to make it sustainable and viable long term, we've said consistently this is a choice for local government, they'll make the decisions at a local level on where they want to go,” he said.