Forbes Shire Council has been deemed “not fit for the future” by the IPART Report which was released Tuesday. This was due to scale and capacity which focuses on the population forecast for the next 20 years. The recommendation from IPART that has been given to Forbes Shire Council is to merge with Weddin Shire Council (Grenfell).
Mayor Miller said Council has until Wednesday 18 November to respond. “We will be meeting with Weddin Shire
Council to discuss the next step and then we will put in our submission,” Mayor Miller said. “There is no point burying our heads in the sand about this as we have known for a long time that amalgamations were on the agenda.”
“The fact that we meet the other criteria except for scale and capacity tells me that this is a forced amalgamation and if we don’t do it, it will be done for us.” “It is important that we keep our councils intact so that there is a democratic process for change.” “My understanding is that if there is resistance, the Government will do it with an administrator, which is taking away the democratic process.”
Mayor Miller said she reassured the community that they will be kept engaged throughout the process. “It is important to stay calm and we will keep the community informed every step of the way,” she said.
139 proposals from 144 councils in NSW made a submission to IPART to either merge or standalone. From those proposals a mere 52 councils were found to meet the criteria to be deemed “fit” and 15 councils in the Central West were deemed “unfit”, including Orange City Council, Wellington Council, Blayney Shire Council, Cabonne Council and Weddin Shire Council. Bathurst Regional Council, Dubbo City Council, Parkes Shire Council and Cowra Shire Council were among the councils in the Central West who were assessed as “fit for the future”.