WARRNAMBOOL City councillor Jennifer Lowe has re-opened debate on local government mergers with a suggestion that the south-west should have a super council.
Speaking after a regional discussion workshop organised by the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry this week, she said there were increasing signs larger lobby entities had more effect in getting the ear of state and federal governments.
“We need to be brave enough to start the discussions on having a south-west super council — think outside the square,” she told The Standard.
“A super council would eliminate boundary disputes and duplication of services.
“Governments are indicating they don’t want to talk with individuals, but a bigger group.”
Cr Lowe cited the Great South Coast group as an example.
It is an alliance of government, industry and community aiming to work collectively for the benefit of the region covered by Warrnambool City and the shires of Glenelg, Corangamite, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Colac Otway.
“This is a great model. It’s about communicating beyond the boundaries,” Cr Lowe said.
“We need to stop thinking just about our own little patch and look at the big picture.
“A super council would need councillors with high competency and skills.”
Previous suggestions by other councillors or election candidates about local government mergers, particularly between Warrnambool and Moyne, have proven unpopular.
The state government has indicated it would not force any mergers, but would require a united approach from councils.