Last Friday’s rally at Queanbeyan could turn out to be a monumental shift in favour of the Save Tumbarumba Shire’s cause for a demerge of the Snowy Valleys Council.
SoS members joined with representatives of other forcibly merged councils to protest against the amalgamations outside Nationals leader John Barilaro’s office.
The rally marched a block from the Brad Haddin Oval to Mr Barilaro’s office singing chants and waving their banners.
The protest involved speakers from each represented council, along with politicians and members of other organisations against the forced mergers.
Peter Primrose MLC, Shadow Minister for Local Government and Member of the NSW Legislative Council, spoke along with Member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly.
The message was clear from all: stop the forced amalgamations and reverse those that have already gone ahead.
The representatives from each council put on an incredibly united front, effectively displaying their passion, defiance and anger in a respectful manner.
The Times spoke to a couple of SoS members who attended the rally on why it was so important to keep protesting.
“We want our council back,” said Chris Davey.
“If we stay with Tumut, in years to come we will end up just like Adelong and Batlow with no say and no representation.
“The recent changes in the government have really spurred us on.
“We keep finding a light and as long as we do we will keep fighting,” she said.
Kay Wilson said it is important the group keep fighting for the sake of the next generation.
“We are fighting for our children,” she said.
“In years to come, they are going to benefit from what we hope to achieve.
“There aren’t many young people involved with the SoS group because they don’t realise the consequences of what has happened.
“Later down the track there will be a lot of consequences.
“They think it is a lost cause but we have to keep trying.”
Kay hoped the rally would make some difference to what they are trying to achieve.
“We’re not saying that the government will listen to us, but we hope they do,” she said.
“If they don’t listen it’s all going to come down to the next election and that is when it’s really going to hurt.
“We have fought a great fight and we’re devastated that they just didn’t listen to us. “Voicing our opinion is all we can do now.”