McGirr speaks at demerger rally

Cross party support was extended at the Demerge NSW Alliance launch in Sydney last week.

Wagga MP Dr Joe McGirr was there when the Demerge NSW Alliance (DNA) was launched with a rally at Parliament House in Sydney on Tuesday. 

The Demerge NSW Alliance is a new coalition of citizens and community groups from across NSW campaigning to support, if the community wishes, the demerger of councils that were forcibly amalgamated by the State Government in May 2016. 

Speakers included Dr McGirr, NSW Labor’s Greg Warren, the Greens’ David Shoebridge, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ Robert Borsak and mayor and councillors from Inner West Council.

Residents from Pittwater and Bombala councils also spoke and residents from across the inner west turned out to support others trying to demerge.

DNA coordinator Grantley Ingram, from Bombala, expressed the continuing outrage of communities over the forced amalgamations. 

“After five years of merged councils, communities remain angry about the remoteness of the mega councils, the rate increases, the failure to deliver financially and lack of representation,” Mr Ingram said in a statement. 

“They want their local councils back.”

Dr McGirr agrees with them.

“It was a good rally, and it is pretty clear that it is not just Snowy Valleys Council that has problems,” he said.

“There is growing recognition that these mergers in rural areas have been a major problem. You’ve only got to look at the increase in rates and level of discontent. These mergers were supposed to be efficient, a better system, so you know something’s not right.”

He said he and the other demerger advocates would continue pushing the government to recognise that this is a problem that needs to be addressed.