Tiley backs call for amalgamation

CLARENCE Valley mayor Ian Tiley has thrown his weight behind moves to amalgamate two key local government lobby groups.

Cr Tiley has offered to join a working party to examine options for the amalgamation of the Local Government Association of NSW (LGA) and the Shires Association.

The LGA represents metropolitan councils, regional cities and municipalities. The Shires Association looks after the interests of the mainly rural shire areas.

The former Grafton City Council was a member of the LGA, the former Maclean shire had dual membership and the former Copmanhurst shire and Pristine Waters councils were part of the Shires Associations.

While the two groups are separate legal entities going back 83 years, they have shared many administrative resources for decades.

The move to explore options for a single local government lobby group came out of the Shires Association's annual conference, attended by Cr Tiley.

Cr Tiley said amalgamation would be a sensible move.

One lobbying voice for local government would ensure maximum political impact, it would remove duplicated effort which was inevitable for two associations, and produce economies of scale on costs.

The Shires Association conference decided to establish a working party jointly with the LGA to explore options for one local government association in NSW with a view to formulating an agreed proposal for the consideration of all councils.

nMeanwhile, Clarence Valley Council has confirmed a $10,000 contribution to widen broadband capacity in the Northern Rivers area.

It is now one of 10 councils in the northern region and south-east Queensland to sign up for the Broadening the Broadband project.

The partnership members are the councils of Ballina shire, Byron shire, Clarence Valley, Kyogle council, Lismore City, Richmond Valley, Tweed shire and the Queensland councils of Redland, Boonah and Beaudesert shires.

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