Hume council has asked to meet “urgently” with Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, saying it had not been consulted about the Liberals’ plan to make Sunbury a stand-alone municipality if the party is successful in the state election.
Councillors say they are disappointed to have first heard the policy had been put “back on the table” in a January 9 Star Weekly story.
At the council’s February 26 meeting, six of the 11 councillors spoke about the idea of Sunbury splitting from Hume, emphasising the “enormous amount of anxiety and concern” caused when the idea was on the table in 2014-15.
Several speakers outlined reasons why plans to cut Sunbury’s ties with Hume had fallen over in 2015 and suggested reasons why it could again in the future.
Hume council sent a written request to meet Mr Guy following the Star Weekly article in January.
In an interview with Star Weekly last month, Mr Guy said he had not recently discussed the matter with the council and he would understand if it felt “under siege” on the issue.
Last week he confirmed the policy had been a long-term goal for the party.
The idea to establish a City of Sunbury was prominent back in 2013 when the Liberal government undertook a plebiscite on Hume residents’ opinions on the issue.
The poll showed residents favoured a split, but the Andrews government abandoned the idea in October, 2015, after independent auditors advised against it, claiming it would come at a significant financial cost to residents.