It is coming up to 12 months since Cootamundra and Gundagai Shire Councils merged, with it being May 12, 2016 when Premier at the time Mike Baird dropped the bombshell on the two communities.
It was not the news either community wanted; Cootamundra had put in a concerted effort to convince the State Government they should merge with Harden while Gundagai had been determined to stand alone.
Now months down the track, Gundagai residents are still stating their case for a de-merger and their council to once again be a sole entity.
They have been filled with hope as the government chops and changes their policy on amalgamation, however the Cootamundra and Gundagai situation has been different from the start.
The court action of the former Gundagai Shire Council was stopped short making their situation unique.
It is time for the Premier, albeit a different one to he who made the original decision, to step up and make a final announcement on the fate of the two towns and surrounding villages.
We call on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to speak directly to the residents of the combined Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council and say what will happen.
If the councils are to remain amalgamated, let’s get on with the show of making the merger work to the benefit of all communities.
If the councils are to be de-merged then let’s speed up that process.
The present climate of uncertainty fuels hope that the councils will not remain married together and a definitive answer is needed.
Residents in both towns have met the decision to amalgamate with different points of view.
No-one, it seems, was pleased by the seemingly farcical guise of consultation prior to the announcement however in Cootamundra, it was widely recognised that amalgamating with a neighbour was the best course of action.
In Gundagai however, the general consensus was that they did not want to merge with anyone.
Anger remains rife at the relationship with Cootamundra but could these differences begin to be put aside and fences mended with some certainly from the Premier on the future of the amalgamation?
- Pictured is Premier Gladys Berejiklian