Concerns about MidCoast Council merger

If one could only wind back the clock to yesteryear when the Great Lakes Shire was one small happy family and all seemed right with the world.

Then along comes the Big Bad Political Wolf with the nonsensical notion that bigger is better.

Great Lakes Council, deemed ‘Fit for the Future’ on a ‘stand alone’ basis, is undemocratically told that, despite being found not guilty of any crime, is sentenced to spend the term of its natural life with a cohort of failed amateurs.

Notwithstanding all the pre-election platitudes by hopeful councillors that every effort would be made to ensure a smooth transition to a bright future as one big happy family, nothing could be further from the truth.

As a long visitor to the Great Lakes region and now a 20 year retiree and concerned resident, I put the following “concerns” to you and particularly the new councillors:

  • The election of mayor of the newly-formed MidCoast Council went down to several preference counts. This clearly indicates divisions on council from the start. 
  • The new council has stated that, for the time being, all future council meetings will be held at Taree. Common sense would dictate meetings should be held in the three former council chambers on a rotating basis. This would allow all citizens the convenience of shorter travel time to attend and encourage ratepayers to involve themselves in such meetings.
  • Where will the new council be headquartered?
  • Will former Great Lakes Shire ratepayers be fairly treated with rate harmonisation or will we be subsidising our poorer “Not fit for the future” neighbours?
  • Will former Great Lakes Shire ratepayers receive fair allocation of funds and work priority for roads, bridges and other infrastructure.  

I do not see the new MidCoast Council as a new highway leading to a brighter future. Rather, I see it as a cul-de-sac, or, in layman’s terms, a dead end!

Steven Maher