Disappointment at government decision

I’m very disappointed that the egg can’t be unscrambled: Mary Donnelly

I’m very disappointed that the egg can’t be unscrambled: Mary Donnelly

Former Cootamundra Shire Councillor Mary Donnelly has been left frustrated at the decision to keep Cootamundra and Gundagai merged.

The two councils will remain joined with Premier Gladys Berejiklian announcing there will be no backflip on already amalgamated councils. 

Those six regional councils with pending merger proposals have been let off the hook and will stand alone, including Wollongong and Shellharbour councils, and Newcastle and Port Stephens councils.

In Sydney, all existing mergers will remain in place, while the five metropolitan merger proposals before the court will proceed subject to the decision of the court. 

Announcing the decision on Tuesday, Premier Berejiklian said it was an outcome which would ensure a "very positive future for councils throughout NSW".

Mrs Donnelly wonders where to from here for Cootamundra?

“I’m very disappointed that the egg can’t be unscrambled,” she said. 

“We have tried to work together (with Gundagai) but it is so toxic; it’s not a happy marriage and we need to cut our losses and go our separate ways,” she continued. 

Mrs Donnelly said Cootamundra Shire Council has achieved for local residents with the building of a heated pool, the introduction of a green waste system and well-kept parks and gardens and was one of the first councils to put their hand up to amalgamate, with the initial proposal being to merge with Harden.

“Because we were one of the first to put our hand up, they should give us some leniency and go back on what has been done,” Mrs Donnelly said. 

She questioned the lack of communication from the government in the lead-up to the announcement as well as Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson’s commitment to Cootamundra achieving the merger they wanted with Harden, rather than with Gundagai.

“Katrina crossed the floor for greyhounds, but not for us,” Mrs Donnelly said.

The Herald has contacted Ms Hodgkinson for comment on this latest announcement.