NO MERGER FOR MAITLAND AND DUNGOG COUNCILS
Friday 17 February 2017
This week we heard that the NSW Government will not pursue a merger of Maitland and Dungog councils. In my opinion, the decision to allow us to stand alone is the right one for Council and for the people of Maitland.
The process to come to this decision has been quite long and drawn out. We were first told of a possible merger back in 2015 and we haven’t heard a whole lot since Council submitted our final response to the Dungog – Maitland Merger Proposal in April last year. It’s been an uncertain time for my colleagues and I, but also for Council staff and the community as a whole, so I’m relieved we’ve finally got some closure on the issue.
In saying all that, I want to let our Dungog neighbours know that this does not mean we won’t work with them in the future. I hope to build on my relationship with Dungog’s mayor Harold Johnston and I know that if both councils work closely together, the Hunter Valley will be all the better for it.
As a result of this decision, Council can now continue to work hard to provide the services the community expects both now and into the future. It also means the local government election process will remain the same and it’s likely the next election will happen in September this year.
I want to thank my fellow Councillors, Council staff and of course Maitland residents for showing patience over the last couple of years and I’m excited to see Council continuing to deliver quality services as a stand alone entity moving forward.
Peter Blackmore OAM