A NATIONAL Party politician has challenged regional Liberal MPs, such as the member for Albury, to help overturn a decision not to allow Tumbarumba and surrounds to break away from Snowy Valleys Council.
Wes Fang, a NSW Upper House member from Wagga, was appalled the state Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock this week rejected a demerger that would lead to the reformation of Tumbarumba Shire.
That came after three of four members of the Local Government Boundaries Commission recommended to her the split should proceed, given the level of resentment in the former shire, which extended to Jingellic and Khancoban.
Mr Fang said the Nationals decided at the outset of the process that if the commission supported a demerger they would agree.
He wants to see the same approach from regional Liberal MPs, such as Mr Clancy whose electorate includes the old shire area.
"Are you going to stand with us and support what the community wants or are you going to back the city-centric Liberal Party decision, because there's no doubt this is a Sydney-influenced, Sydney-manufactured outcome," Mr Fang said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Asked specifically what he wanted Mr Clancy to do, Mr Fang stopped short of offering particular advice.
"What Justin does now is a question for Justin but I think the Liberal Party as a whole, particularly those in rural and regional communities need to look at what occurred here and determine if this wasn't best for our community then make themselves heard and seek change," Mr Fang said.
"That's going to be vital and Justin is a smart guy and hopefully he will do what is best for his community."
Mr Clancy said he would raise the issue with the Local Government Minister and Premier and defended his record on the matter.
"I've been advocating on this process since entering office, I pushed to have the opportunity to appeal the original decision and have been pushing for the process," Mr Clancy said.
Mr Fang suggested a ministerial reshuffle or a realigning of portfolio responsibilities could be explored to have Ms Hancock's decision reversed.
"This isn't about blowing up the government, this is about encouraging the government to make the right decision," Mr Fang said.
Ms Hancock has declined to elaborate on her reasoning for rejecting the split, that there was a lack of consensus from commission members.
Mr Fang "vehemently" disagreed with Ms Hancock's announcing her decision in a media release headlined "Independent statutory review into Local Government Boundaries Commission".
"(It) happened to say 'by the way I'm not following through with any demergers'," he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.