Shock as Clarence Valley Council labelled 'unfit'

LISMORE Mayor Jenny Dowell was shocked to learn Clarence Valley Council failed to cut the mustard in the IPART review.

"Clarence was one that merged 11 years ago, bringing five councils into one," she said.

"It's a bit of an indictment when this is supposed to be about efficiency and that council is not deemed fit after going through all that pain."

Already covering more than 10,000sq km means any further mergers may have to break the local government area into smaller sections to join its neighbours.

Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett said he was open to conversation but would not make any promises about an amalgamation.

"We've done the hard yards and got there," he said.

"Now we want to keep our eye on the ball and make sure we stay there.

"But that won't preclude us from having discussions with other council who need to talk.

"At the end of the day it's about servicing our communities to the best of our ability."

Coffs Harbour to the south, which met the IPART criteria, may also be investigated for a boundary change.

"Clarence has worked really hard to try be fit for the future - so has Bellingen," Coffs Mayor Denise Knight said.

"Would it make us turn our back on our neighbours? I don't think so.

"That's just not the flavour of Coffs Harbour.

"We've always worked with our neighbouring councils.

"If there's a forced amalgamation, we will just have to accept it."

Richmond Valley
Coffs Harbour

Clarence Valley



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