Dorset decision on NTD next month

THE Dorset Council is expected to decide whether it will agree to another three-year commitment to the Northern Tasmania Development body next month.

The eight affiliated councils of the body - Break O'Day, Dorset, Flinders, George Town, Launceston, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands and West Tamar - have been signing off on the continued commitment over the past two months.

The most recent was George Town, which committed $22,895 last week.

Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis said yesterday that his council would make a decision in May.

"There's been some concerns raised by a couple of councillors that it wasn't value for money, so this will be discussed when we next meet," he said.

Cr Jarvis said this was a concern he had heard echoed by councillors and aldermen from other councils.

He said the relevance of the body would probably be up in the air if the Launceston City Council did not make the three- year commitment.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten could not be reached yesterday.

West Tamar Mayor Barry Easther said his council had approved $65,579 for the continued funding of the body at its March meeting.

"There's never been a problem (raised) by the West Tamar Council - all of the elected representatives are keen to support the regional organisation and they see it as important to continue to do so," Cr Easther said.

"And it needs to be funded adequately to do things."

He said those on the council had not looked at it as if it was "value for money" but more that it was a body that could be representative of the needs of those councils.

Northern Midlands Council acting general manager Maree Bricknell said councillors had voted unanimously at their last meeting to continue their commitment subject to other councils doing the same.She said all councillors were quite happy with the commitment of about $45,000.

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