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Council could become a “county”

Friday, 26th April, 2013

By Erica Visser

City Council could be culled to form a larger 'County Council' encompassing the Unincorporated area and towns like Cobar.

The notion comes from a report released on Wednesday by the Independent Local Government Review Panel which has been planned for 18 months.

The Panel visited Broken Hill last year to consult with the public and Council on the issues facing the region.

The final report favoured the merging of councils across NSW, which would cut the 152 existing councils to fewer than 100.

The Panel suggested that a County Council be formed, with Broken Hill as its head.

"The strengths of this option are that it is evolutionary, maintains a familiar model of local government and preserves local democracy," the report read.

"However... it would probably fail to achieve stronger Aboriginal participation in local government and does not address issues for the Unincorporated area."

The other option was for a Western Region Authority, which would place councils under the power of the Authority, which was run with local boards, Aboriginal Local Land Councils, the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly, the Unincorporated area and the State and Federal Governments.

The authority would be headed by an independent chair and would employ its own staff.

According to the Council. He said that not enough information was available to determine whether he supported the options at this stage.

The Panel is expected to consult with the community regarding the options within the next few months.

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