“A word please, Mr Baird”
MARJ Bollinger and Val Packham came from Molong to bend the Mike Baird’s ear about forced council amalgamations, brandishing humble signs that simply requested “a chat” with the Premier.
Baird stopped to acknowledge the duo, asking if it would be okay if he spoke with them following the hospital opening formalities.
The pair came with the intention of expressing their opposition to the amalgamation of Cabonne, Blayney and Orange councils – where residents fear a loss of services should the merger between two rural and one citybased council go ahead.
Bollinger, who is renowned for her active engagement in community issues, was doubtful of an audience, but said the pair was “chuffed” that the Premier did in fact make time to speak with them.
“He came out and came directly to speak with us. He asked if I’d been in touch with the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole – I said, “Yes, I’ve tried, but without success – that’s why I want to talk to you.””
Bollinger said the Premier instructed his staff to take the pair’s email address. “I received an email the following morning saying that he’s happy to meet with me when we can arrange a time – so we can’t ask for more than that.”