Ex-mayor urges councils to stick together

Martyn Evans speaking at last night’s council meeting.

REGIONAL councils should stick with the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority despite the potential departure of metropolitan counterparts, former mayor Martyn Evans told last night’s Derwent Valley Council meeting

Councillor Evans said he had attended many STCA meetings in his previous role as mayor and had been frustrated by its Hobart-centric approach.

He said he was aware of the Clarence City Council’s decision to withdraw from the authority, as well as rumblings at other major councils. “We should stay in it and make it Southern Tasmanian Regional Councils,” Cr Evans said.

Meeting earlier this week, the STCA board proposed that the body be funded from reserves for the next financial year, at no cost to participating councils. “We can keep it going and use [the funding] to support the seven regional councils and utilise that money to great effect within the smaller regions,” Cr Evans said.

Cr Rachel Power agreed with Cr Evans’ proposal. “It’s worrying that the big guys don’t play with the little guys sometimes, but sometimes it’s nice for the little guys to have their own voice,” Cr Power said. “It’s a time to stand up and be heard. If those guys are stepping out of the way, even better,” she said.

The council voted unanimously to remain a member of the STCA for the 2019/20 financial year.
Hobart, Glenorchy and Kingborough councils are considering their future in the STCA but Huon Valley Mayor Bec Enders has defended the southern council group, saying a regional authority was vital to lobby state and federal governments.

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