Mergers ‘imminent’

Councils across the region should be prepared for merger talks according to Wattle Range Mayor Des Noll. No mergers have taken place in the South East region since the 1990s when the number of councils was trimmed from 12 to seven.

In a statement to this week’s monthly council meeting in Millicent, Mayor Noll said he agreed with recent comments made by Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor that council mergers across South Australia would achieve savings and efficiencies. “Councils will be required to merge into the future,” Mayor Noll said.

“This is a conversation that needs to be continued and how it will affect the Limestone Coast. “There is no doubt in my mind that amalgamations for several regional councils are imminent. “It would be wise for all Limestone Coast Mayors and councils to be having conversations around this topic.

“That conversation would include their individual scale of economies, community accountability and long-term viability to be independently sustainable into the future. “This will further impact directly on a positive economic growth of the Limestone Coast. “I subsequently had a conversation with Ms Verschoor around this topic.”

Mayor Noll had expressed a similar point of view last month at the annual general meeting of the Limestone Coast Local Government Association at Bordertown. Wattle Range Council was formed in 1997 by the merger of the Millicent, Beachport and Penola councils.

Grant District Council is exactly a year older as it is an amalgamation of the Port MacDonnell District Council and the Mount Gambier District Council which took effect on July 1, 1996. The Naracoorte Lucindale Council was formed in 1998 when Naracoorte District Council, Naracoorte Corporation and the Lucindale District Council came together.

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