Statement from Snowy Valleys Council Mayor, Councillor James Hayes

Published on 20 July 2021

Mayor James Hayes.jpg

I am proud to have led the first Snowy Valleys Council and to have worked with a dedicated Councillor group.

Change is not easy, and community sentiment since merge and through the Boundary Review process has reflected that.

I was elected to represent and deliver to the community as part of the newly merged Council. I am proud of the achievements of both the Council and Councillor group, in a period of great unrest, uncertainty and challenges.

I will be standing again for election, and if re-elected will continue to represent the community of Snowy Valleys and work with the elected body to make decisions about our future.

With the election in less than seven weeks, I encourage those who wish to stand to respect the Government decision and work within whatever guidelines they may issue to ensure a positive approach that will benefit the entire region.

The reality is, we need to have an ongoing working relationship with the State and Federal governments for the benefit of our community.

We need to ensure that we are able to work together to lead a strong, functioning Council, facing up to its challenges in a proactive, sensible and sustainable way.

I acknowledge there is still a lot of work to do and challenges to face.

Decisions and discussions about a Special Rate Variation and new Community Strategic Plan will be some of the very first decisions of the new Council.

The information collected as part of these two projects will be critical for any future council model.

In May, the Local Government Amendment Act 2021 was passed by the State Government, leaving the door open for Councils’ to resolve to undertake a process to de-amalgamate.

The Minister’s decision means that any further work to progress a de-amalgamation could be addressed by the new Council.

As a Council, we need further direction from the Minister and Office of Local Government about how this process would work in order to make informed decisions.

-ENDS-

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