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Coffs council passes test as Clarence and Bellingen fail

Coffs Harbour mayor Denise Knight
Coffs Harbour mayor Denise Knight Trevor Veale

IT WAS the news Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight had been waiting for.

The Fit for the Future map shows a green Coffs Harbour marooned between Clarence Valley and Bellingen councils, both marked red to signify their failure in the IPART review.

Receiving word Coffs had made the grade was vindication for years of hard work.

"I've only just received notification, but just quietly I'm unbelievably excited," Cr Knight said.

"This has been a long haul for us, just like everybody else.

"The tears were rolling down my face. This is what we have been working towards, and it hasn't been an easy task.

"We've got a great general manager, Steve McGrath, who took the lead and drove us through the whole process."

But meeting the criteria does not mean Coffs will stay the same, with both Clarence Valley and Bellingen in line for possible forced mergers.

Cr Knight said she would work with the councils to find the best solution.

"If there's a forced amalgamation, we will just have to accept it," she said.

"Would it make us turn our back on our neighbours? I don't think so.

"That's just not the flavour of Coffs Harbour."

Nambucca is another likely candidate for amalgamation with Bellingen to its north and Kempsey in the south both deemed unfit.

MADE THE CUT:
Lismore
Byron
Ballina
Richmond Valley
Coffs Harbour
Nambucca

FACING THE CHOP
Tweed
Kyogle
Tenterfield
Clarence Valley
Bellingen

 

-APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  coffs harbour council


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