Kyogle council votes to stand alone despite being ‘unfit’
BREAKING NEWS: Kyogle Council has once again re-affirmed it will stand along despite being declared 'unfit' for the future by the NSW Government last month.
The council narrowly voted 5-4 at its meeting tonight to go it alone even though there are millions of dollars on the table for councils to merge.
Kyogle's most likely merger partner would have been Richmond Valley Council.
More to come.
CHEERS erupted in a packed Kyogle Council meeting last night when councillors voted 5-4 to stand alone rather than volunteer for amalgamation.
Under pressure from the State Government to become 'fit for the future' and faced with losing $10 million on offer for voluntary merger, three councillors Lindsay Passfield, Janet Wilson and Ross Brown were strongly reluctant to make a decision on the night.
But that was not enough to pressure the remainder of the councillors to even delay the vote.
Councillor Michael Reardon dubbed the merger money as a "bribe" and "absolute insult" given the council needed at least $30 million to fix its roads and bridges.
Mayor Danielle Mulholland said the council was "running out of time" and cited the recent parliamentary inquiry into the Fit for the Future process which described it as an example of "monumental government failure" focused too much on amalgamations.
"I am convinced where the community sits on amalgamations," she said, just before putting the matter to a vote.
But the saga is not over yet and the State Government could yet force Kyogle to merge with another council.