Uncertainty over Far West Initiative

The eight Far West councils who were earmarked to be included in the Far West Initiative (FWI) are unsure where they now stand on the matter.

Conflicting statements made about the FWI by various State Government politicians during and after last week’s Western Division Council Conference at Wentworth have confused the conference attendees including Cobar Shire Council Mayor Lilliane Brady.

Mayor Brady said Deputy Premier John Barilaro told the delegates at the conference that the FWI was off the table and he challenged councils to come up with a new model.

“I was pleased with the announcement,” Mayor Brady told The Cobar Weekly.

“I’ve never been in favour of joining up the eight councils.”

The FWI regional authority plans to incorporate the eight far west councils of Broken Hill, Central Darling, Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett, Balranald, Wentworth and Cobar under one banner to share resources and work together more efficiently.

However following last week’s conference a spokesman for Mr Barilaro told ABC radio that no decision has been made to take the FWI off the table but rather the Deputy Premier had only challenged local councils who may not be supportive of the model to come up with an alternate decision.