PRESIDENT of the Tingha Citizens Association Colleen Graham has been instrumental in raising signatures for two petitions this year supporting boundary changes to move Tingha into Inverell Shire Council.
The village was in Guyra Shire and following the amalgamation of Armidale and Guyra councils earlier this year, it is now part of Armidale Regional Council.
But many local residents have stated they would prefer to be part of Inverell Shire, as Inverell is only 25km from Tingha, while Armidale is more than 100km away.
When the amalgamation was announced in May, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall immediately called for the boundary to be changed between the shires, so Tingha could be moved into Inverell Shire.
“Moves to allow that community to move into the Inverell LGA should be pursued without undue delay,” Mr Marshall said at the time.
The Tingha Citizens Association’s first petition was deemed not to comply with the Local Government Act and subsequently failed, so the association went back to the drawing board and collected signatures for two more that did meet the criteria.
We’re just basically waiting.- Colleen Graham
One was from the residents of Tingha requesting the boundary changes, while the other contained signatures from Inverell residents accepting the community included in the LGA.
Mrs Graham said the petitions, along with a cover letter, were sent to the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole.
“We’re just basically waiting,” she said.
“Whatever I sent to the minister I sent to Adam Marshall to keep him in the loop, and I sent a copy of the cover letter to Inverell council general manager, Paul Henry, and to Dr Ian Tiley, the administrator of the Armidale council.”
Mrs Graham said a reply came from Dr Tiley, who thanked her for keeping her in the loop. She said she would like to feel a little more optimistic, but was not sure if the the government would support the change.
Mr Marshall spoke to Fairfax Media on Thursday afternoon and said he had checked with the Minister’s office and the petition was being processed by the Office of Local Government.
He said the process involved all the signatures on the petition being checked against the electoral role to ensure all the people who have signed the petition lived in the correct local government area.
"It is going through the normal consideration process," he said.
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