COUNCILLOR Tom Weyrich’s attempt to have the cost of de-amalgamating Murray River Council investigated has failed.
Cr Weyrich, who was mayor of Murray Shire, asked his council to ‘‘write to the NSW Premier and Minister for Local Government in the form of a show cause letter asking why this council should not investigate the costs involved in de-amalgamating MRC’’.
But the notice of motion received no support when it was put to the ordinary council meeting on Tuesday.
‘‘It is pretty much what it is,’’ Cr Weyrich said before the motion was put to a vote.
‘‘The part of the ward I represent (Mathoura) is suffering and suffering immensely ... But for us to lose seven positions (following the amalgamation), that’s seven people that don’t spend money in the town.
‘‘I am not asking that we de-amalgamate.’’
Cr Alan Mathers said calling it quits so soon would be premature.
‘‘Part of what we stood for at the election is we have to make this new council work. I think it’s time we started looking at some of the positives, there’s plenty of negatives I know, but there are some positives,’’ he said.
‘‘I see some of those positives the fact it’s a council surrounded by rivers ... so I think there’s enormous opportunity ... change is inevitable, it’s part of life. The real challenge is to be proactive and we make it work.’’
Cr Neil Gorey also spoke against the motion.
‘‘We argued against the legislation but we’re here now ... Wakool Shire is suffering, it’s not just only Mathoura. We’re all from the same boat,’’ he said.
Cr Gorey said a de-merger had to come from the community.
‘‘As councillors we can’t be driving that, it’s got to come from the community,’’ he said.
‘‘Our role as a councillor is to get the best from this new amalgamated council.’’
Cr Weyrich, who represents the Greater Murray ward, said he failed to understand why council would move senior positions from Mathoura to a town such as Moulamein which has a declining population.
‘‘Cr Gorey said this has to come from the community and I am saying my community has spoken,’’ he said.
His community spoke at a public meeting in Mathoura recently last week.
About 45 people attended the meeting organised by Cr Weyrich to discuss the level of discontent within the town.
Another meeting is expected to be held in late January/early February to see if council has made any progress.
Following the meeting, Cr Weyrich said he had a clear conscience.
‘‘I’ve done everything I can and I plan to raise the issue with Austin Evans (Member for Murray-elect) tonight (last night),’’ he said.
Cr Weyrich said he expected Wakool ward councillors to be against his motion but he was ‘‘disappointed’’ he didn’t get support from councillors in the Moama or Greater Murray wards.