According to Cabonne Council, a merger of Cabonne and Orange Councils would not provide any long-term benefit for the residents of either area, reaffirming its standalone position.
“Both councils are financially sound and sustainable, and are very capable of operating efficiently and providing services well into the future without the need for the merger incentive funding being offered by the NSW Government,” Mayor of Cabonne Ian Gosper said. “We’ve done extensive community consultation and we know the vast majority of our residents are opposed to a merger of any kind.”
Cabonne Council will not nominate a merger preference when a further submission is lodged with the Government on November 18, despite the offer of $5 million for two councils to offset the costs of implementing a voluntary merger.
“I’ve heard claims that by honouring the wishes of our residents we are penalising both Orange and Cabonne Councils, but that’s not true,” Mayor Gosper said. “In the long term, the $5m for community infrastructure is not a large amount when you consider Cabonne has a $21m roads budget alone this year.”
Mayor Gosper asked whether it was worth $5m for Cabonne residents to lose
their local representation and a council with a focus on rural issues. “Is our long-term right to self-determination and true local representation worth
only $5m? The benefits would be shortlived,” he said, reiterating there was no
guarantee the offer would cover the costs of bringing the two councils together, and residents could find themselves paying much more.
According to ANTY Chairman Jock Haynes, “they have set up a political process which has given them the answer they want to hear.”