Tingha boundary change moves it from Armidale to Inverell council area

The small community of Tingha – 100km from Armidale – will no longer be part of Armidale Regional Council from July 1.

On Friday, NSW Governor David Hurley proclaimed the relocation of the village – which was part of Guyra Shire prior to the 2016 amalgamation of Armidale and Guyra councils – from Armidale Regional Council to Inverell Shire.

The boundary change affects the township and surrounding districts, covering almost 800 square kilometres, and was made public when Armidale Regional Council mayor Simon Murray and Inverell Shire Council mayor Paul Harmon met in Tingha with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall on Friday to share the news with locals.

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One local resident, former Guyra Shire Councillor Audrey McArdle, marked Friday as an “historic day for Tingha”.

Inverell Shire Mayor Paul Harmon, Northern Tablelands Member for Parliament Adam Marshall and Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray shake hands in Tingha on Friday morning following the announcement.

Inverell Shire Mayor Paul Harmon, Northern Tablelands Member for Parliament Adam Marshall and Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray shake hands in Tingha on Friday morning following the announcement.

“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.

Cr Murray, who served on Guyra Shire Council with former councillor McArdle some years back said he had always had a soft spot for Tingha.

“In some respects I’m saddened by this, it’s like losing a part of the family but we’ve done all the surveys and are satisfied that the Tingha community do want to move to Inverell,” Cr Murray said.

"I’m not going to stand in their way and I wish them well with Inverell and know Paul and his crew will really look after them.

"I also appreciate work staff have done behind the scenes to get us to where we are, ... this is an agreement between two councils that will be nearly seamless, and that’s because staff have been behind the scenes getting it to where it is now.

"I would like to thank them in both camps, or councils, for doing the work. Let’s hope at the beginning of financial year, the Tingha community see no major adjustments."  

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.

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.

Tingha Citizens Association president Colleen Graham.

Tingha Citizens Association president Colleen Graham.

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.

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