Indigo ready for wild west battle

INDIGO Shire council will try to “reclaim” parts of the previous United Shire of Beechworth that were lost to Wangaratta in the 1994 amalgamation.

Cr Bernard Gaffney tabled the motion at the Tangamablanga meeting, which was supported 7-0, in a move he said “is in the interest of the community” and would “right a wrong”.

Council will now contact Minister for Local Government, Jeanette Powell, to have additional land included within the shire boundaries.

This section extends westward to the east of Tarrawingee and Eldorado, and is within Rural City of Wangaratta boundaries.

Indigo Shire councillor, Bernard Gaffney, believed the move was not only well-supported within council, but within Indigo communities.

“We are expecting this to be a popular decision,  I think residents feel we deserve to take back what is ours,” he said.

“The people in these areas don’t identify with Wangaratta, they shop in Beechworth, go to church in the town, and their children go to Beechworth schools.”

Cr Gaffney felt the timing was right, noting an increased emphasis on this issue within the shire.

He also believes the present council is forward-thinking enough to see the move through.

“Increasingly, I’ve heard from people who want this issue resolved,” he said.

He also said “Eldorado should be included in the (Indigo) Gold Trail”.

Cr Gaffney said he hopes to avoid any conflict with Rural City of Wangaratta.

“We hope to avoid a fight, but we feel there is an anomaly,” Cr Gaffney said.

Cr Gaffney said there would be economic benefits for landowners, estimating a saving of $490 in rates for landholders with a 100ha property valued at $600,000.

A response from the Rural City of Wangaratta will be in Friday’s Chronicle.

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