There were more than 70 people in total at all three sessions of the Boundaries Commission public inquiry yesterday at the Cootamundra Ex-Services Club Auditorium.

Coota’s Mitch McTavish having a say. Photo: Christopher Tan.

According to CGRC Mayor Abb McAlister speakers raised excellent points and all in favour of a demerger.

Issues raised included socio-cultural differences, financial issues, service issues and a special-rate variation to name a few.

Speakers were given a window of four minutes to speak before the buzzer sounded.

Cr Gil Kelly having a say. Photo: Christopher Tan.

There were a total of four commissioners and Cr McAlister said they all took the feedback on board.

Commissioners Grant Gleeson, Lesley Furneaux-Cook, Bob Sendt, Rick Firman. Photo: Christopher Tan.

At the second session there were four registered speakers but another four went forward to speak.

The main talking point of that session was a resident getting up and asking who in the room would be in favour for the demerger and everyone but one, raised their hands.

Prior to the public having their say, both Cootamundra and Gundagai councillors presented a 15-minute talk.

The main issue brought up by Cootamundra councillors was the financial crisis as part of the amalgamation process.

Additionally, CGRC General Manager Phil McMurray highlighted that a special rate variation has been identified and will be entered into council’s budget.

Although residents can expect a special rate variation excess of 60 per cent to cover the cost of being amalgamated, services provided to them have remained exactly the same.

The Times understand that public numbers at the Gundagai District Services Club were also strong too.

The examination into the proposal has commenced and written submissions are invited from members of the public.

Closing date for written submissions is 5pm AEDT, December 4, 2020.

Christopher Tan