Majority still want rural council

Gordon Youman and Rob Lenehan addressing the meeting at Ebor
29th Sep 2020

The announcement of an inquiry into the operations of Armidale Regional Council has only cemented views that the Save and Grow Guyra group have had since the amalgamation took place in 2016. Spokesperson for the group Gordon Youman said that he is not surprised at last week’s announcement.
“If you look at Armidale’s track record this has occurred over and over again,” he said.
“Putting a Council that was functioning with a Council that was not functioning and hasn’t functioned properly for years was never going to work.
“Armidale are broke, broke, broke, and they are dragging Guyra down with them.”
Administrator Viv May said in his minute to last week’s meeting that Guyra Shire Council’s finances were in a poor state, however Mr Youman disputed this as well as the inference that his group represented only a few people in the community.
“We believe that with a proposed 21% rate rise Guyra Shire Council would have been in a substantial position and that by now they could have been in a much better position,” he said.
“Our group represents the majority of people from the former council area and we have widespread support.”
He said that they will continue to work for a complete separation of Guyra and for its restoration as a rural council for rural people, which he believes is the only way to ensure that Guyra and the surrounding rural areas will be able to survive and thrive into the future.
“The failure of the amalgamation has cemented what we thought would happen,” he said.
“Business losses and staff losses have seen money drained out of the community and we believe if we can get back our autonomy things will start to turn around.”