A special meeting of Shoalhaven City Council has resolved to opposed its forced merger with Kiama Municipal Council.
In her Mayoral Minute for the meeting, Joanna Gash said, “My view is this merger proposal, presented in its current form, contains several anomalies, statement of financial processes and rating proposals that could well jeopardise Shoalhaven City’s capability to grow and retain its Fit for the Future status.
“The merger proposal does not address complex planning, rating, administrative and infrastructure issues arising form the different sewer and water supply arrangements in the two.”
She went on to say, “In my opinion, therefore, the current merger model is unworkable as no long term benefits have been explained.”
The meeting decided that in the event of a merger proceeding, Council would be in favour of four wards and twelve councillors, plus directly elected Mayor (continuing the current arrangement).
Shoalhaven City Council has a population of 100,000 spread through 49 villages and towns.
Figures put together by Shoalhaven Council show the difference in size of the LGAs and the amount dedicated to various cultural services in both areas:
Population 97,694 21,047
No. of capita/councillors 7,515 2,339
capita/sq km 21.4 81.7
No. of public halls 28 20
No. of public libraries 4 2
Culture Expenditure/capita $200.90 $286.60
Library budget/capita $25.40 $62.70