Local Government Boundaries of Snowy Valleys Council to be retained
Published on 20 July 2021
Snowy Valleys Council has received notification of the decision of the Minister for Local Government the Hon Shelley Hancock, MP to retain the Council’s current local government boundaries.
“Today’s announcement follows significant and ongoing community discussion, focus and action since 2016’s amalgamation decision,” said Matthew Hyde, CEO of Snowy Valleys Council.
“Council acknowledges the Minister’s decision, but I recognise the decision may not be welcomed by all parts of the Snowy Valleys community.
“However, the decision has now been made and we will continue to operate as Snowy Valleys Council in the best interests of the community.
“I implore the community and lobby groups to acknowledge that the responsibility for the determination rests with the state government, and to take up any issues with them directly, leaving staff to continue to deliver services.
“We do not have any clear direction on the details surrounding the Local Government Amendment Act and de-amalgamation, aside from the fact that a Council can resolve to undertake the process.
“The Minister’s decision means that any further work to progress a de-amalgamation will have to be addressed by the new Council, however we are yet to receive any guidance from the Minister and Office of Local Government about how this action could be progressed.
“As an organisation we have respected the process throughout and are asking the community to respect the uncertain position we are currently in and work positively together with Councillors and staff for the benefit of the entire local community,” continued Mr Hyde.
Since being established Snowy Valleys Council has delivered over $62M in new infrastructure, asset renewal and maintenance work.
“The focus of Snowy Valleys Council has always been to operate as a single organisation in order to create a sustainable path for the delivery of works and services across the whole community and this work continues,” said Mr Hyde.
“I acknowledge that Council has significant challenges ahead, and I am committed to tackling them in partnership with the community and elected representatives, but hard decisions will still need to be made in order to achieve sustainability whether we are one organisation or two.
“I ask the community to participate and contribute respectively, proactively and positively in opportunities to be involved in the journey to a sustainable council through discussions about a Special Rate Variation and new Community Strategic Plan as this information will be critical for any future council model.
“I understand that the demerger agenda will be an election issue, but this is a political issue and we cannot afford for this to distract us from our work.
“Community unrest and continued instability around this prolonged process has taken an enormous toll on the welfare of Councillors, SVC staff and their families, please do not underestimate how this has impacted on staff member’s health and wellbeing,” said Mr Hyde.