IN A PERPLEXING move, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) has recently voted to withhold its membership fees for the state’s peak local government body and a major advocate for councils – Local Government (LG) NSW.
The decision was made at the July ordinary meeting of council. It appears to have been prompted by a dispute between Goulburn-Mulwaree Council and the board that governs LG NSW.
The decision came just one month after the council resolved to nominate three councillors plus the Mayor to register and be voting delegates for LG NSW’s annual conference in Albury in October. A further two councillors will attend as non-voting members.
Councillors were asked at the July 25 meeting to consider a request from the Canberra Region Joint Organisation’s inaugural meeting in June to withhold membership fees for LG NSW (estimated to be approximately $53,000 for 2018–19).
The council resolved to do so “pending satisfactory responses to the questions raised by the joint organisation”. QPRC will also write to the LG NSW about the matter.
Councillors Brian Brown (ALP), Peter Marshall (Greens) and Radmila Noveska (ALP) voted against the resolution.
Goulburn-Mulwaree Council also used the joint organisation forum to raise its concerns about superannuation levies for employees’ defined benefits pension schemes and which it plans to raise at the Albury conference in October.
QPRC acknowledged these concerns but will take no further action on that matter.
By withholding its membership fees to LG NSW, QPRC risks being unable to attend and vote at the annual conference in Albury.
The joint organisation was constituted following the September 2017 council elections in NSW.
ILLUSTRATIVE IMAGERY: Sue Van Homrigh