Cabonne, Oberon fighting on

Cabonne and Oberon councils continue to fight mergers despite court ruling

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Cabonne and Oberon councils continue to fight mergers despite court ruling.

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Minister for Local Government Paul Toole.

Minister for Local Government Paul Toole.

THEY may have had their cases against Minister for Local Government Paul Toole dismissed in court last week, but Cabonne and Oberon councils will still fight on.

Last Friday the Land and Environment Court dismissed action in relation to the proposal to merge Oberon Council with Bathurst Regional Council, and Cabonne Council with Blayney Shire and Orange City councils.

The court also dismissed action taken by two former councillors of the Gundagai council, which was merged with Cootamundra Council in May.

The councils have been ordered to pay the NSW Government’s court costs.

But despite the government giving the councils until midday tomorrow to appeal the decision, both Cabonne and Oberon councils aren’t giving up. 

Both councils have decided to request that the government not take any further action until a ruling is handed down regarding the appeal by Woollahra Council to avoid a merger with neighbouring Waverley and Randwick councils.

The councils will also ask that if the government does not agree to this request, they will seek an injunction or interlocutory orders to stay any action and then consider lodging a formal appeal.

Cabonne mayor Ian Gosper said the Woollahra Council case was similar to Cabonne’s.

“I believe the Woollahra appeal still has a bearing on where we go, so we do need additional time to see what judgment is handed down in that case,” he said.

“If the Woollahra appeal is unsuccessful, my opinion is Cabonne Council should not go ahead with a formal appeal after that.”

Meanwhile, Mr Toole has welcomed the court’s decision.

“All 10 grounds upon which the councils were relying for their cases were rejected,” Mr Toole said.

“Claims that I, the delegates and the Boundaries Commission had acted in such a way to make the proposals invalid were dismissed entirely.”

Twenty new councils have already been formed since May this year by the government in its overhaul of local government.

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