Councils not happy with consultant report

Young, Harden and Boorowa councils have expressed their disappointment with the draft report detailing their options regarding the proposed council amalgamations presented to them last month.

They have now handed the consultant hired to investigate their options a mandate to fix the report so that it “more accurately and comprehensively” explains the options they investigated.

The three councils received the 43-page draft report from the consultant during a special meeting at the end of November.

The three mayors and general managers arranged an additional meeting with the consultant a week later to clarify numerous points in the report that left several Young councillors more confused about the issue.

At the time Young’s mayor John Walker said they wouldn’t comment on the report until they had studied it and worked out the impacts the options had on the councils and its communities.

Harden mayor John Horton said “we are extremely committed to keeping our communities informed and at this stage we don’t believe there is any value in the community reading a draft report that is incomplete and being improved”.

On December 11 the mayors and general managers from Boorowa and Young met with the Local Government Minister Paul Toole, in the absence of Harden who had prior commitments.

They updated Mr Toole of what the councils had received to date and how investigations were progressing.

The mayors present also expressed their disappointment that they didn’t yet have a report ready to release to the public.

“The minister was very understanding of our position and he did not want to see thereport until necessary changes had been made and the councils were provided with a final report which was ready to be publicly released,” Cr Walker said.

He said they predicted the report wouldn’t be ready prior to Christmas because they believed it was important the consultant “got the report right and completed” before the public reviewed it and the councils began their consultation processes.

“We had hoped to have something for the community to review prior to Christmas,” Boorowa mayor Wendy Tuckerman said.

“However we [didn’t] see the value in making something public that we believe would only serve to create more questions for the community than it answers.”

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