Council votes to retain our community and oppose forced State Government changes

Posted on July 26, 2023

Councillors have endorsed a position not to support any of the State Government’s proposed boundary changes for Meander Valley.

“Council met on Tuesday to finalise their submission in response to the State Government’s Future of Local Government Review. Councillors endorsed a position not to support any of the State Government’s proposed boundary changes for Meander Valley.

“We believed it was very important to consult with our community on the proposed reforms as any changes will directly impact our residents so we have held off formalising a position until we had received their feedback,” Mayor Wayne Johnston said.

Meander Valley Council held two public feedback sessions and undertook online and phone surveys to help inform a submission and although time for consultation has been limited by the State Government’s timeframes, the response from the community has been strong.

“Based on the results of our consultation, the Meander Valley community does not support forced amalgamations and residents hold concerns about the impact boundary changes would have on the smaller townships in our area, the cost of rates for property owners, services the community receive and the future sustainability for all council areas,” Mayor Johnston said.

Council also raised concerns about the lack of evidence and information provided by the State Government to demonstrate how their proposed changes would improve economies of scale, economic sustainability, levels of service or any potential cost savings for ratepayers.

“Meander Valley Council works hard to maintain a sustainable business model to ensure appropriate services are available for our community. It is not unreasonable to expect that significant changes such as these should be guided by sound research and assessment of agreed, key performance indicators.

“Whilst we have come to the decision not to support the proposed reforms, we do support those councils who wish to pursue voluntary amalgamation options with their community’s support and, further investigation around opportunities for Tasmanian councils to share services where appropriate, in areas of information technology, procurement and policy development,” Mayor Johnston said.

Meander Valley Council’s formal submission to the Future of Local Government Review board will be finalised and delivered in coming days and a copy of the document will be available on Council’s website. Community members are also encouraged to provide their own submission to the State Government on their proposed reforms at:

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to come along to the public meetings and all those who completed a survey. Your feedback has been important in helping us form a position and it was encouraging to hear how much you value our municipality and the services Council provides,” Mayor Johnston said.