The cupboard is bare

By SALLY GORDON

sally.gordon@dailyexaminer.com.au

THE Iemma Government is crying poor when it comes to helping the Clarence Valley Council shoulder the cost of amalgamation.

The Minister for Local Government, Kerry Hickey, has declined to help the council with a one-off payment of almost $1 million.

Council had asked the State Government to make a contribu- tion towards the establishment of the new council following amalgamation.

Council general manager Stuart McPherson said the request for funding covered computer, financial and HR system costs and to some extent office and accommodation costs.

The Minister told the council 'there were no discretionary funds available within the local government portfolio for grants of that nature'.

Mr McPherson said he wasn't surprised by the knock back.

"To some extent I understood it, because the Minister takes every opportunity he can to advise us how he doesn't have a bottomless bucket from which he can withdraw cash to support councils," Mr McPherson said.

However, Mr McPherson said that within a few years the council would achieve the savings anticipated at the time of the amalgamation.



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