Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Roadmap for “complex” council demerger revealed

A preliminary roadmap for the demerger of Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council has been produced by the NSW Government, outlining a path forward for the process.

Deputy Secretary of the NSW Office of Local Government, Brett Whitworth said the roadmap provides a timeline for the implementation of the demerger.

“There is no recent precedent for de-amalgamating a council in NSW and this roadmap will inform the Government’s approach,” Mr Whitworth said.

“We understand the community and councillors would like a swift outcome, however the Government’s focus is not only on demerging the existing council, but on ensuring the two new councils are set up for future success.

“This will be a very complex undertaking that must be managed in line with the Local Government Act and it’s critical we take the time necessary to get it right.”

Under the proposed roadmap, the legal path for demerging the Council would be established after the March State Election, as legislative change would likely be required to facilitate the process.

A transition manager would also be introduced in the second quarter of 2023 to oversee the build of the new Councils while the existing Cootamundra-Gundagai Council continues its operations.

It’s expected Cootamundra-Gundagai will cease operations in mid-2024, at which stage the new councils would commence, prior to the local government elections in September 2024.

“We know the community wants greater certainty about the demerger and we will continue to provide regular updates as they become available,” Mr Whitworth said.

“I thank the staff and councillors for working with the Office of Local Government during the development of this roadmap, and the Cootamundra-Gundagai community for their continued patience as we undertake this important process.”

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