Demerger!?! – We can do this

13th Sep 2022

With support and action from the ARC ratepayers and communities the separation of the council area to form two new Local Government areas based in Guyra and Armidale is now essential for long term growth and prosperity of both districts.
The Save and Grow Guyra group are extremely thankful of the support in signing the Support Letter required to accompany our Submission to State Government – we still require a small number of letters to be signed and have acquired space at the Cosy Corner in Guyra for collection. Check on site signage, SAGG Facebook site, and local media for opening times. We also have some merchandise for sale and a donation box and would appreciate any help at all. Anyone interested in providing some time manning our shop would be most welcome.
There is absolutely no doubt that the so-called Local Government Reform Package (Fit for The Future) has been a devastating and demoralising failure. The financial collapse of these councils (forcibly amalgamated or otherwise) can be directly related to the amalgamation process i.e. the diseconomies of scale – four year rate freeze – periods of administration where the gift grants (millions of dollars) were squandered – biased and unbalanced council elections and much more. If there is any blame to be appropriated it surely can be levelled squarely at the State Government.
Recent comments from ARC administration and councillor leadership stating that Guyra council was in financial difficulties and sustainably unviable prior to amalgamation is simply not correct. Guyra had several million dollars invested with various banks and institutions. It had a viable and active well-staffed plant/machinery depot more than capable of maintaining infrastructure. It had a happy and sound relationship with the ratepayer and communities to the extent that at a very well attended public meeting prior to amalgamation we committed to a 30% rate increase if we could retain our autonomy. We were ignored at State Government level.
So, let’s get together again. We can and will get our council back if we maintain our voice. Now that the Local Government Ministry has committed to de-merge Cootamundra and Gundagai it is time to unite and spread the word so we can obtain the remaining Support Letter signatories and get our separation Submission in front of the powers that be.
Rob Lenehan - SAGG