Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis has weighed into the council merger debate, seconding a strongly worded motion attacking the Baird government’s stance and calling on South Coast MP Shelley Hancock and Shoalhaven mayor Joanna Gash to be more vigorous in voicing opposition.
The motion was put to a public meeting at St Georges Basin Country Club convened by Shoalhaven councillor Greg Watson and Vincentia High School teacher Bob Proudfoot.
Cr Watson praised Mrs Sudmalis for taking a stand.
“I thought it was a courageous move, which showed she was prepared to stand up for the community”, Cr Watson said.
Mrs Sudmalis was at first reluctant to back the motion, which described the merger plan as arrogant and ill-conceived. However, after it was read to her a couple of times, she agreed to second it.
“There is nothing new in my opposition to the merger. It started on December 23 when the proposal was released. I looked at it and went, ‘Oh, my god.’ I’ve spoken twice about it in the House of Representatives,” she said.
She said she was also happy to back the second part of the motion calling on Mrs Hancock and Cr Gash to be more vocal in representing community opposition to the merger.
She said the meeting made it clear they wanted greater support from the local politicians. “That is the perception out there, people are not happy.”