The Snowy Valleys Local Representatives Committee held their final meeting last Thursday with a diminished membership, after Tumut’s Scott Stevenson and Trina Thomson, and Tumbarumba’s Julie Giddings, left the committee in contentious circumstances throughout the year.
The remaining members were, from the Tumbarumba side, Ian Chaffey, Allen Becke, Sue Fletcher, Brent Livermore, and Tim O’Brien.
Tumut was represented by James Hayes, Margaret Isselmann, Rowan Bieske, and Glenyce Francis, and meetings were also attended by the Administrator and council staff. The purpose of the LRC was ostensibly to guide Snowy Valleys Administrator Paul Sullivan as he merged the Tumut and Tumbarumba councils by providing local input.
All merged councils throughout NSW were instructed to have an LRC by the Department of Premier and Cabinet after the policy of amalgamations were announced, but the LRC’s critics say it was merely window dressing.
Nevertheless, the group met at the Batlow RSL on Thursday for the final time, where they discussed the best way to ascertain community expectations of council going into the future.
It was revealed that only 40 per cent of Snowy Valleys residents believe the council is delivering good value for money for their rates, and the main point of discussion was how that perception – or perhaps reality – could best be turned around.
Longtime council staff seem genuinely committed to improving the way council serves the community, and asked for the LRC’s input on an innovative project, with more details to be announced in the future.
They also discussed the best way to ensure that good candidates nominate themselves for local council elections come September, with information packs that can be picked up from Tumut and Tumbarumba for those thinking of applying.
They are currently available at the council offices, and will soon be made available through local libraries.