Have your say... Letters to the editor

This is your chance to speak up about current issues affecting your council. Please forward your letters to editorial@lgfocus.com.au

Dear LG Focus,

The campaign against the New South Wales Government’s undemocratic forced amalgamation proposal of Shoalhaven and Kiama Councils is only just about to start.

The member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has been continually saying that it would not make any difference if he crossed the floor to vote against the Government, as the New South Wales Parliament does not play a part in the current process. Technically Mr Ward may be correct, however he has conveniently ignored the fact that the Parliament has the power to modify the Minister for Local Government’s powers under the Local Government Act 1993 as amended, by way of a Private Members Bill, and therefore could effectively withdraw the Minister’s power to continue with the shameful undemocratic amalgamation process we’re going through at the moment. The Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has more twists and turns than a red-bellied black on a barbecue plate in respect of this issue. However in fairness to Mr Ward, he has made a personal submission to the Delegate in which he mounts a very strong case against the Amalgamation of Shoalhaven and Kiama Councils.

Up to this point in time submissions have been made to the delegate who will be writing the report. The campaign will now target the decision-makers Premier Mike Baird MP, and Minister Paul Toole MP. Minister Toole who will jointly make the decision regarding which councils are amalgamated. The campaign will now urge individuals to write directly to the Premier Mike Baird MP, Minister Paul Toole MP and the two Local Members the Honourable Shelley Hancock MP and Mr Gareth Ward MP Parliamentary Secretary for the Illarwara and South Coast.

The public meetings will continue and both Local Members are invited to attend.

The cost of hire of the meeting venues and any associated printing is being fully met by myself with no involvement from Shoalhaven City Council.

Councillor Greg Watson
Shoalhaven City Council