The Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council will face increased pressure to remain amalgamated after a local government amendment bill was passed into the Upper House of NSW State Parliament.
This comes after a massed rally at Gundagai’s Carberry Park proclaimed the council merger between Cootamundra and Gundagai the “death of democracy”.
It has been a year since the two councils were joined together, however ongoing protestation and the recent departure of key administrative figures have fueled a sense of belief in the Gundagai community that independence is only a matter of time.
“We’ll keep fighting,” said former mayor and Gundagai Council in Exile representative Abb McAlister.
““If we don’t get the merger, the anger will seep over into the 2019 elections.”
The bill in question was put forwards to the Upper House on Friday by Shooters, Fishers and Farmers representative Robert Borsak and will push to give people on vote on forced council amalgamations.
Member for Orange Philip Donato said the goverment’s ongoing policy of forced council mergers would breed further resentment in regional communities and challenged the government to enact a plebiscite.
“We will push this bill and see then whether the government has the intestinal fortitude to stand up for the people in this state,” Mr Donato said.