An ongoing saga, spanning almost a decade, finally ended for Tingha today as NSW Governor David Hurley proclaimed the relocation of the village from Armidale Regional Council to Inverell Shire.
From July 1 Tingha’s township and surrounding districts, covering almost 800 square kilometres, will become part of Inverell’s local government area (LGA).
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, Armidale Regional Council mayor Simon Murray and Inverell Shire Council mayor Paul Harmon met in Tingha on Friday to share the news with community members.
To ensure a smooth transition with rates and accounting, the new financial year was seen to be the easiest date for the adjustment to take place.
Mayor Harmon said the relocation was a situation where the majority of a community asked, and two councils worked together, to uphold their wishes.
“I want to thank Simon and the team at Armidale Regional Council,” Cr Harmon said. “This wouldn’t be a smooth transition if we weren’t sitting around the table, talking collectively and looking at the wishes of the greater community.
“I believe local government is strong on being a government for the people and this is a way of us showing other councils around the state how we can work together for a positive outcome for the community,” he said.
Local resident, and former Guyra Shire Councillor, Audrey McArdle marked Friday as an “historic day for Tingha”.
“I know a few people are not happy we are going to Inverell, but I know in the long run it is going to be best for us all,” she said.
Tingha Citizens Association president Colleen Graham said the announcement was an answer to many prayers and came at an appropriate time as 150 years ago tin was first discovered in Tingha.
“I want to thank both councils. I know the work that was put in behind the scenes, especially with all the surveys done to see how the community really felt. It’s like a weight has been lifted off us and we appreciate it,” she said.
Mr Marshall was pleased to bring to a close what he said was a “fairly lengthy and protracted process”.
“Back in 2016 an assessment was first done, then joint proposals were put in between two councils, a lot of meetings, surveys of residents, and plenty of discussion in between then and now.
“I’m thrilled the joint proposal to relocate Tingha to Inverell’s LGA has been proclaimed by the NSW Governor. It’s a common sense decision reflecting the community of interest and its long association and history with Inverell.”
Mr Marshall said the shift was mostly about providing certainty to the Tingha community and its surrounding districts. Looking back at government records, the MP said it was quite an unusual boundary adjustment due to the size.
“We often see adjustments to one or two properties but the scale of this adjustment is huge. It’s a credit to both councils for making the transition go smoothly,” he said.