Our Say: Give request for plebiscite in Dubbo and Wellington some fair consideration

To plebiscite or not to plebiscite, that is the question.

The question of whether or not there should be a poll relating to council amalgamations when we vote for new councillors in September sparked up again during the week when three former mayors pushed for it to happen.

Mathew Dickerson, Allan Smith and Greg Matthews’ suggestion was met with a flat response of ‘no’ from council administrator Michael Kneipp.

But , should there have been a bit more thought put into it before an answer was given?

Dickerson, Smith and Matthews argue that the bulk of residents were against the forced merger of the former Dubbo City Council and Wellington Shire Council.

It’s hard to argue with that, the stats are there to suggest as much.

But whether, all this time on, the same level of opposition is there would make for an interesting debate.

Opinions are varied as to whether we should continue to fight, or lay down and accept it, as the state government would no doubt want us to do.

It is certainly an interesting debate, with the line between the right answer and the wrong answer clouded by the fact those councils that fought their mergers in court are now not being forced into an amalgamation.

Should we be forced into a merger that the bulk of us never wanted in the first place, when other councils who were in that position and fought don’t have to go through with it?

So much work has already been done to bring the amalgamated councils together, that there will no doubt be calls of “we’ve already spent so much money, why spend even more on turning it around?”.

That too is a valid question, and perhaps that is why more consideration should have been given to having a plebiscite to answer once and for all whether the people of Dubbo, Wellington and the surrounding villages actually want the councils to be merged into a regional entity.

If the vote says the majority are happy to stay merged and maintain that status quo, it ends all debate.

And if the vote says the majority would like to see both councils returned to their former incarnations, it ends all debate.

After all, the state government is made up of people elected to represent their communities, not dictate to them.