Maitland, Dungog council merger decision welcome: Jenny Aitchison

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison.

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison.

Ongoing uncertainty around council mergers has been “demoralising” for councillors and council staff, Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison says.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Tuesday that proposed council mergers in regional NSW – including those involving Maitland, Dungong, Port Stephens and Newcastle councils – would not go ahead.

Ms Aitchison said Hunter residents were sick of talking about council mergers.

“So much time and energy have been lost with the ongoing talk of council amalgamations,” she said.

“Maitland residents have been in limbo for over 12 months and stripped of their democratic rights when they were denied the opportunity to vote at the last local government elections.

“I thank our local government workers, the mayor, the general manager and councillors who have been continuing to work under the shadow of a forced merger proposal, with all the uncertainty that brings. It has been a demoralising and difficult time for all of them. I thank them for their commitment to our community.”

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