Demerger hopes rest with Greens MLC

Greens MLC Amanda Cohn is planning to introduce the bill to parliament this month
21st Nov 2023

With less than a year to go
before the next NSW
Local Government Election, communities across the state, including Guyra, are continuing to push for a reversal of council mergers that took place in 2016.
There were high hopes with the change of State government in March, however so far it hasn’t delivered any of the promised solutions.
Groups such as Save and Grow Guyra (SAGG), with support from the Demerge NSW Alliance (DNA), are now pinning their hopes on a Bill which is being introduced by Greens MLC, Dr Amanda Cohn.
The proposed Deamalgamation Plebiscites Bill would amend the NSW Local Government Act to enable residents wishing to demerge their councils to hold a plebiscite. The bill, which will be presented in parliament at the end of November, allows for communities to move forward with a demerger if the majority vote that way.
Dr Cohn was the keynote speaker at a state-wide Webinar which was held last week. Her Bill is intended to hold the Minister accountable when residents support demergers.
According to Cohn, communities across NSW have been “sounding alarm bells” about the catastrophic outcomes of the 2016 mergers but to no avail.
Save and Grow Guyra (SAGG) spokesperson Rob Lenehan said the group fully supports this Bill.
“We have been in contact with Amanda Cohn during the preparation of this Bill,” Mr Lenehan said.
“SAGG is still persevering with its advocacy in convincing the State Government, via the Local Government Minister, that the majority of the Guyra communities within ARC are in favour of a demerger.”