Clarence City Councillors have voted to note Council’s submission to the Local Government Board Review on the Future of Local Government Stage Two Interim Report.

At its meeting on Monday night, council noted the submission’s recommendation that based on council’s growing population, strong asset base and sound performance, that maintaining the status quo represents the best outcome for our community at this time.

Clarence City Council Mayor Brendan Blomeley said while council has participated in this process, the process could be improved.

“The voluntary amalgamations which occurred in 2017 saw us go through a more rigorous process than we have been through this time round and it involved an in-depth analysis of the risks and benefits of amalgamations,” Mayor Blomeley said.

“We were prepared then to make a well-informed decision on behalf of our community, informed by our community.

“This time around, we’re being told what our options are, however the finer detail about the scenarios posed is lacking.

“While we’re sticking with the status quo for now, we still have an open mind for what the future looks like and are interested to learn what both our community and neighbouring councils think, but we can’t do anything until the Board’s Stage 3 report comes out.

Mayor Blomeley said by making the amalgamation process voluntary, the government has taken an important first step in fixing this process, but the process needs to be evidence-based and rigorous before putting anything to our community.

“With this in mind, we hope the Board proposes a rigorous evaluation program that will allow councils and their communities to test the Stage 3 recommendations,” he said.

“This is first and foremost a community issue – our communities should be deciding what their local government should look like, and we agree.

“It’s not all broken, it’s rectifiable, and we’ve done it all before. We just need to work together and communicate to find meaningful solutions for our community – after all, that’s the reason we’re all here.”