Councillor Yench calls for restructure

Cr Peter Yench has called for a restructure of the Far West Initiative Advisory Committee (FWIAC) in an effort to improve the sustainability of Cobar and seven other neighbouring councils.

The NSW Government’s Far West Initiative was set up in August 2015 to look at ways to improve local governance, infrastructure and service delivery for Cobar, Balranald, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Central Darling, Walgett and Wentworth council, and the Unincorporated Area.

Minister for Local Government Paul Toole is leading the initiative.

The advisory committee is currently made up of representatives from each far west council, the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly, non-government organisation service providers and state and federal government.

Cr Yench said in response to disagreements with previously proposed Fit for the Future local government models, he offers “a very simple model” that would see Cobar Shire Council remain “as is” and coordinate the efforts of the eight councils on a collective basis.

Cr Yench proposed that the Far West Initiative Advisory Committee be comprised of the mayor and general manager of each participating council and a paid executive officer funded by equal contribution from each council.

“Its initial agenda would be to set up a working party to improve service delivery of other government practices,” Cr Yench said.

“This proposal and speedy introduction of it would save councils and the NSW Government significant money.

“With our declining population and businesses closing every week, we’ve got to get in and have a go,” Cr Yench said.

“United we conquer, divided we fail.

“With eight councils working together we can go forward and could achieve big things,” he said.

“There’s so many opportunities out there now, we’ve just to get our act together.”

He listed innovation, carbon storage, a freight hub, a bio hub, grain receival, goat harvesting, tourism and harnessing solar energy as viable ideas that warranted further investigation.