Extending the hand of friendship to Gundagai

Ros Wight offers hand of friendship to upset Gundagai community. Former Cootamundra Shire Councillor Rosalind Wight offered a conciliatory attitude to Gundagai residents when she spoke at Thursday night’s information meeting in Cootamundra.

Mrs Wight was present at the meeting in Gundagai two days previous where tensions were high as Gundagai residents continue to fight against the amalgamation.

They are the only already amalgamated council in the state now in the court.

Directing her comment to former deputy mayor of Gundagai David Graham, Mrs Wight said “The people of Cootamundra do not want to fall out with the good people of Gundagai”.

She laid the blame for the forced merger squarely at the feet of the State Government, conceding she is not at all at peace with the process, however encouraged all to move on together.

“We can not have friends and neighbours fall out because of this traitorous government,” Mrs Wight said.

She, together with other former Cootamundra andGundagai Shire Councillors, now holds a position onthe ‘Local Representation Committee’, reporting to administrator Christine Ferguson and continuing her role as a liaison between the community and the council.

An ‘Implementation Advisory Group’ also exists with Cootamundra’s Paul Braybrooks,Rod Chalmers, Doug Phillips and Gundagai’s Mason Crane acting on it.

Two spaces have been left in the hope two of the three former Gundagai councillors tied up in legal action over the merger will come on board.

These men are former mayor Abb McAlister, deputy mayor David Graham and councillor Peter Gain.

Ms Ferguson confirmed to Thursday night’s audienceshe will meet with these men over the coming week to ascertain if there is a way possible to move forward with them in the new council.

Mrs Wight was hopeful of that representation being successful.

She reassured residents of Gundagai that Cootamundra residents do not wish to take over any of their jobs or funding opportunities.

“We do not bear Gundagai malice,” Mrs Wight said.

“We do not want to acquire anything,” she continued.

Mrs Wight expressed that she understood the anger of Gundagai, indeed she was immensely frustrated, if not furious, by the process which led to the merger, however said she hoped all could move on together for the greater good of both towns.

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