Kyogle Council looks to future

Hot on the heels of an announcement there would be no public inquiry into Kyogle Council, mayor Ernie Bennett has launched a community survey to find out what his constituents really want.

He said he believed a large percentage of people in the community were happy with the way Kyogle was run, however, one of the survey questions asks whether people would like to see Council amalgamated.

I dont agree with it, he said. I dont think its good for us but if the majority of people come back and said they believe its a good thing, we would have to look at it.

Last week the Minister of Local Government, Kerry Hickey, announced there would not be a public inquiry into Kyogle Council, and he was giving Council six months to better meet the expectations of its ratepayers.

Kyogle Council must now undertake and deliver a number of reforms and improvements and report on its progress. If Council doesnt deliver, a full inquiry remains an option.

Mayor Ernie Bennett said the survey would give Council a clear idea of what people wanted and expected from their local council.

This is about getting a view from everybody, not just a few people complaining, he said.

The past has happened. Theres one thing I always believe: you dont look too long in the rear vision mirror or you crash. Lets look into the future.

Local businessman Jack Hurley said he had been extremely disappointed with Councils performance in the past, particularly with the way it had walked away from its responsibilities by handing back 26 Crown Reserves to the Department of Lands. He said the whole town had suffered from a general air of neglect, however, it seemed to have turned around.

Theyre mowing the approaches to the town and the recreation grounds and the lookout are being looked after. Hopefully theyve had a change of heart and not just while the threat of an inquiry is hanging over their heads.

Mr Hurley said he saw the appointment of Arthur Piggott to the role of general manager last week as a positive move.

Hes a local man and his family have been around here for years, he said.

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