West Tamar and George Town to explore potential merger into Tamar Valley Council

MERGER TALKS: Mayors Bridget Archer and Christina Holmdahl are set to explore a potential ‘Tamar Valley Council’. Picture: Phillip Biggs
MERGER TALKS: Mayors Bridget Archer and Christina Holmdahl are set to explore a potential ‘Tamar Valley Council’. Picture: Phillip Biggs

The next step towards a single Tamar Valley Council will be voted on at this week’s West Tamar and George Town council meetings.

Both councils will decide whether to endorse the feasibility scope as presented in a Memorandum of Understanding, which will also be signed by the state government.

The exact details scope of the study were deemed of a commercial nature and “if disclosed prior to formally engaging a consultant could prejudice the relative commercial position of those involved” according to the West Tamar Council agenda.

The MOU to be discussed at both meetings would formalise the governance and funding arrangements for the feasibility study into the potential voluntary amalgamation.

West Tamar’s general manager Rolph Vos said the councils shared a belief that the proactive development of a vision for the Tamar Valley was an opportunity to be explored in detail.

“The draft MOU put forward reaffirms the clearly defined set of decision making parameters put forward by Minister [Peter] Gutwein as being core requirements to inform any scope and terms of reference for a feasibility study,” he said.

In the meeting agenda George Town Council’s acting general manager Raoul Harper said the MOU also captured the express conditions outlined by  the existing motion “on the books in relation to this matter”.

“The MOU and associated terms of reference provided substantively comply with this motion,” he said.

“Consequently, with the proposal put forward to date, the only area of divergence with the existing motion on the books is a request to co fund the study.”

The recommendation before George Town Councillors on Wednesday is agree to fund a maximum of 25 per cent of the study.

“It should be noted that with all studies of this nature council is not bound to agree nor make decision to action any or all of the recommendations put forward,” Mr Harper said.

West Tamar meets Tuesday at 1.30pm and George Town meets at 5.30pm Wednesday.