Council mergers backflip: Bradbery says NSW government decision 'a monkey off my back'

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery took a serious approach after Tuesday's announcement his council would not merge with Shellharbour. Picture: Robert Peet.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery took a serious approach after Tuesday's announcement his council would not merge with Shellharbour. Picture: Robert Peet.

For Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, news his council would not merge with Shellharbour did not prompt jubilant celebration.

Instead, it was cause for relief and pragmatism, as he quickly turned his thoughts to the work the council would need to catch up on after months in limbo.

“It’s a monkey off my back really, and at last we can get on with the business of council,” he said, wryly.

“You couldn’t have organised a better botch up.”

“This period of indecision has just caused so much grief, and as far as I’m concerned it’s great that it’s over [because] if it was going to go ahead there was going to be a stretch out period of indecision.”

READ MORE: Berejiklian government axes Wollongong, Shellharbour council merger

He said the council would need to begin work on its next five year plan, and set a budget for the 2017/18 financial year.

Since the merger was announced, the council’s power over large financial decisions has been limited.

Cr Bradbery would not say if he planned to stand for re-election in September, instead saying he would spend the next few months focusing on the welfare of the city.

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