In its submission to the Local Government Board, Council outlined that it has the experience, capacity and financial viability to strategically invest, promote and deliver better outcomes for the Richmond and Coal River Valley.
“Council will not entertain any proposal which would result in the split up of the Clarence municipality,” Mayor of Clarence, Alderman Doug Chipman said.
“Council has always been firm in the belief that any amalgamation must be voluntary, be in the best interests of ratepayers, be based on sound modelling and undergo proper consultation with the communities involved.”
“This has not occurred. There has been no analysis so far. Given that Council consulted with its community late last year on options for a south east council with the majority of residents not supportive, such a proposition to annex parts of Clarence would certainly seem like a forced amalgamation.”
Council has invested heavily in the region which has seen growth in commercial, industrial, agriculture and tourism industries. This includes Council establishing the Coal River Valley Wastewater Recycling Scheme to deliver growth in the agriculture sector, the residential subdivision and the industrial precinct at Cambridge with close proximity to the airport, and working with key groups in Richmond to promote tourism in the area.
While a boundary adjustment is not an option in the Board’s consultation paper, it does flag that if the identified options outlined in the paper were not viable, then a merger involving part of a neighbouring municipal area could be highlighted to the Minister in their findings. In this instance, the consultation paper outlines the inclusion of a commercial hub, a population centre, significant infrastructure or a major transport route in a potential merger of Sorell and Tasman councils.
“Clarence City Council has a history of delivering good outcomes for residents and businesses in the region,” Mayor Chipman said.
“We have built good working relationships with business and the community and invested significant resources and expertise to ensure the potential of the area is realised. The future governance of Richmond and the Coal River Valley lies with a strong and financially viable Clarence City Council.”
A copy of the Council report from 16 April 2018, including the submission to the Local Government Board, can be found at www.ccc.tas.gov.au/agendas&minutes.