CENTROC gets one voice quieter
The Mid Western Regional Council has left the region's peak lobby group for local government.
The council, which includes the towns of Mudgee, Rylstone, Gulgong and Kandos, has pulled out of a pilot organisation called Central NSW Councils (CENTROC).
The group has made itself a major voice on regional infrastructure issues like the Bells Line Expressway over the Blue Mountains, and the Inland Rail project linking Brisbane to Melbourne.
Mid-Western Regional Council Mayor Des Kennedy says money was behind the decision.
He said the council was already tied to advocacy efforts in the Hunter Region, and that the recent state-wide review of local government means the council is unsure about where to focus its regional goals.
“We're a bit in limbo over here, we don't seem to think we get a lot of value for money out of it,” Cr Kennedy said.
“It's just another tier of government that we've got to pay money to be in.”
Cr Peter Shelley said CENTROC does play an important role, but the council can represent itself.
“Most of the dealings with government is actually pretty much a one-on-one basis with the general manager and the mayor as representatives of councils with ministers and government agencies,” Cr Shelley said.
“We are responsible for ratepayer's money. We just felt it was unnecessary and probably not to the advantage of council to be a member of CENTROC.”
CENTROC chair and Cowra Mayor Bill West says he is consulting with colleagues on the matter.
“I'm disappointed Mid Western Council haven't contacted us and certainly I will be contacting Mid Western to find out what their real issues are and understand the problems they saw,” Cr West said.
“We have a very good open relationship with all our members, this is a disappointment, but I'm sure that if other members have issues they will be on the phone very quickly to raise those with us which is the normal occurrence.”