Thursday, 21 July 2016
THE name Central New England Council will replace the existing Armidale Regional Council, if Local Government Minister Paul Toole agrees to a proposal submitted late yesterday by Local State MP Adam Marshall.
Over the past seven weeks Mr Marshall has been has been collecting views on the vexed question of the name of the new council, which he says the community was initially denied the opportunity to have its say on.
Under Section 207 of the Local Government Act, the name of any council can be changed at any time via proclamation.
“Although the merged council was been gazetted as the Armidale Regional Council on 13 May, many believe this doesn’t properly reflect the demographic it covers – including the swelling Guyra township and surrounding villages of Ben Lomond, Ebor and Tingha and everywhere in between,” Mr Marshall said.
“Following community consultation and written submissions by more than 200 residents, I have formally requested that the name of this new council be changed to Central New England Council.
“New England is a well-known and well-used brand for the broader Armidale district. It is the name given to our University, our Conservatorium of Music, our Regional Arts Museum, many of our region’s sporting teams and many of our region’s businesses have also adopted ‘New England’ into their name and/or branding.
“It was also the name suggested by Delegate Greg Wright, who assessed the Guyra/Armidale Dumaresq merger proposal, and also reflects the agreement between this two councils prior to the merger.
“The term New England was by far and away the most popular with the community. It easily identifies the new council area not just in the Northern Inland, but right across the state, and it avoids using the name of just one of the communities within the new council area.
Mr Marshall said that in the spirit of a regional approach, there should be a regional name, encompassing all communities within the LGA, not just one at the exclusion of all others.
“If agreed to by the Minister, I feel this new name will go some way to creating a fresh culture for the new council and one which makes the other communities feel part of the new entity and not simply an add-on,” he said.
Given that the New England is viewed as a larger area than that covered by the new council – intuitively seen as covering Walcha, Uralla, Glen Innes, Tenterfield and parts of the Inverell local government area (LGA) too, Mr Marshall recommended that Central New England Council be used to give clarity to the location and community of interest of this new LGA.
“There will never be complete agreement on this name, or any name for that matter, but clearly the community believes this name will better reflect the nature of the area the new council encompasses,” Mr Marshall said.
“I look forward to the Minister’s consideration of the request.”
MEDIA: Adam Marshall 0429 440 054 or 02 6772 5552