Call for research into a reduction of councillors

Cr Peter Yench has called for a report on the process Cobar Shire Council needs to take to reduce their number of elected councillors.

Cr Yench is proposing that the number of elected members be reduced from the current 12 members to just five.

His notice of motion on the matter is to be discussed at tomorrow’s Ordinary Council Meeting.

“The previous council agreed to reduce the number of councillors in order to not be amalgamated,” Cr Yench explained.

“However this did not progress due to correct processes not being followed.”

At their Ordinary Meeting in April 2016, councillors had voted that as part of an Organisational Restructure, the number of councillors would be reduced from 12 to nine.

It had been a pre-emptive move by council in order to make it less likely for the council to be amalgamated.

Council’s general manager Peter Vlatko said according to the Local Government Act, council did not follow the correct process, which also includes community consultation.

Cr Yench said he thought council would greatly benefit from a reduced number of councillors.

He told The Cobar Weekly it was important for council to attract “quality” elected members who had significant experience or knowledge of business practices and various local government matters.

He said he would also like to see them paid “a decent salary” so they could dedicate more time to their role as a councillor.