Council to lodge Merger appeal as time limit nears

Cabonne Council resolved on Tuesday to proceed with an appeal in the Supreme Court of NSW in relation to the forced Cabonne / Blayney / Orange merger proposal.

Council has been awaiting the outcome of the very relevant ‘Woollahra Case’ on which the Supreme Court has yet to hand down a decision.

The Land & Environment Court rejected Cabonne’s challenge to the Minister’s amalgamation proposal on 7 October 2016. Council lodged a Notice of Intention to Appeal in the NSW Supreme Court of Appeal and was subsequently given an undertaking by the Crown Solicitor’s Office that no further action regarding amalgamation would be taken until 7 days after the ‘Woollahra Case’ was decided by the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court goes into recess from 19 December 2016 to 27 January 2017. A decision in the ‘Woollahra Case’ has not been made and Council has now been advised that a decision is unlikely before February 2017 at the earliest.

However, Cabonne’s appeal rights expire on 7 January 2017 unless a formal appeal is lodged before that date.

Should Cabonne not lodge an appeal, the government would be able to proceed with a proclamation to amalgamate Cabonne with Orange & Blayney Councils regardless of the outcome of the ‘Woollahra Case’.

Cabonne councillors have received  legal advice relating to Council’s possible avenues of appeal. Cabonne’s legal team indicated that they would have a more detailed opinion and cost estimate in relation to Cabonne and Oberon’s appeal by the day of the meeting.

While the appeal lodgement at this time is a protective measure, given the  delay of the “Woollahra Case” decision, Council has reserved $60,000 in case a formal appeal is proceeded with in court.

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