Shadow Local Government Minister Peter Primrose and Country Labor candidate Charlie Sheahan want to allow reversing forced mergers in the Cootamundra electorate

Shadow Local Government Minister Peter Primrose with Country Labor candidate Charlie Sheahan and Greg Warren MP.
Shadow Local Government Minister Peter Primrose with Country Labor candidate Charlie Sheahan and Greg Warren MP.

The Labor Party has reaffirmed its commitment to allow merged councils to split ahead of the Cootamundra by-election.

The controversial mergers have been a hot topic across the electorate, with fierce anti-merger campaigner Abb McAlister being named mayor of Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council.

Shadow Local Government Minister Peter Primrose addressed media with Mr Sheahan in front of the Hilltops Council chamber on Thursday.

“The Liberal-National local government policy is a dog’s breakfast,” Mr Primrose said. “The Premier and her Deputy had the opportunity to clean it up and they didn’t. Labor will allow local plebiscites on demerging councils that have been forcibly merged.”

Mr Sheahan said the community had clearly rejected forced council mergers.

“Locals will get another chance to express their view on October 14,” he said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was pleased “democracy had been restored” when she visited Cootamundra this week.

“I’m relieved the community elected who they wanted,” she said. “The Deputy and I have made it very clear that we do not want further forced amalgamations (but) what’s there is there.”