Take our poll: What do you think about amalgamation?

Parkes Shire Council is expected to decide at tomorrow’s meeting the next step in gauging public opinion as to whether it should continue to stand alone or amalgamate with a neighbouring council.

Having received a positive report card as being ‘Fit for the Future’ the pressure is off council to amalgamate.

However, Mayor Ken Keith wants councillors to decide the best approach to finding out public sentiment on the matter following release of the IPART report.

“Should we conduct phone surveys or go to a public meeting? These are the types of questions we will hopefully address at Tuesday’s meeting,” Cr Keith said.

“We want to make certain the community is consulted fully on the issue and in particular if public sentiment has changed in regards to the previous stand alone decision.”

The Mayors and General Managers of the Mid Lachlan Alliance (Forbes, Weddin, Lachlan and Parkes Shire Councils) met last week to discuss the recently released IPART Report regarding the Fit for the Future Proposals. 

Cr Keith said the group had a very agreeable and open discussion that tested the findings of the IPART Report.

In a joint press release from the Mid Lachlan Alliance, the consensus was that the time available before the November 18 deadline for responses will be used to seek feedback from the communities. 

Before the IPART Report was released, all four Councils were in a position where their communities wanted to stand alone in the future. 

Each representative in attendance on Tuesday afternoon agreed to take back to their respective councils the idea of conducting a survey to ensure the final submission is consistent with the views of the community. 

This survey will allow the councils to see if their community’s attitudes have changed towards standing alone, especially with the latest incentives worth millions of dollars that have been announced if amalgamations are to take place. 

All councils agreed that the views of their communities are the most important and the survey will give community members the chance to present their feedback regarding standing alone or merging with another council.