News Of The Area hit the pavements this week, gumboots on, braving the rain and mud, to ask the people of Medowie this week’s question:
“Now that the merger with Newcastle Council is off the table, what are your thoughts on the Port Stephens Council suggestion that we merge voluntarily with Dungog Shire Council?”
“Not a good idea. “They’d be crazy to do it because there’s work to do here first.”
- Lisa Connors
Councils have so many responsibilities now there is no doubt that the future is in bigger councils who have the scale and capacity to engage with government and represent their areas effectively. But we don’t want mergers imposed by Macquarie Street. A Port Stephens and Dungog merger would be a merger of like -minded areas to create a harmonious whole big enough to have our voice heard where it counts.
“We need to look after Port Stephens first. “We’ve got so many things we need to work on before we starting worrying about Dungog on top of that.”
- Mayor Bruce MacKenzie
“We fought to merge with Dungog last year and I stand by that proposal today. A merge of our two councils will future-proof Port Stephens, by increasing us in scale and capacity; it is a popular decision with residents, and brings together like-minded communities.
“Crazy Idea. “We have Port Stephens residents that need our support, and need improvements, and we want to add another area to look after?”
“We can’t afford it! “No money is on the table for the voluntary merger, and Dungog would come with up to 50 million in roadworks and our roads still need a lot of work before we look after their roads.”
- Chris Doohan
“There are some incredible advantages to this merger. A lot of factors haven’t been made common knowledge, and some blow-in electoral candidates think they know it all just to appease future voters. Most importantly the offer, and it is only that, an offer, is morally the right thing to do.
By Rachael VAUGHAN