Will Great Lakes Council merge with our Hunter Region Councils?

Great Lakes Council has been announced as one of the member councils for the new pilot joint organisation of Hunter Councils.

“Great Lakes Council has always and will continue to work closely with all regional councils to provide the best benefits for our ratepayers,” said Council’s General Manager Mr Glenn Handford.

The Great Lakes has traditionally been included in the “Hunter” for regional planning purposes.

State Plans, including the Hunter Regional Environmental Plan and the Hunter Coast Urban Settlement Strategies from the 1980s and 1990s always included Great Lakes in the Hunter.

It was only in 2008 with the adoption of the Mid North Coast Regional Strategy that Great Lakes moved from the Hunter.

Even then, Great Lakes still reported to the Newcastle office, unlike all other Councils in the Strategy who reported to the Grafton office.

“With the State Government moving to strengthen the regional boundaries, Council requested that it be formally moved back to the Hunter,” said Mr Handford.

“This was because Great Lakes engages with State agencies that are almost exclusively based in the Hunter.”

“We have many strong and active links with the Mid North Coast Councils group, such as in tourism and waste management, which we will be maintaining into the future.”

“The Great Lakes is uniquely placed with ties to both the Mid North Coast region and to the Hunter,” said Mr Handford.

“We will continue to pursue the best opportunities for our residents.”

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