The Big NO, Kiama, NSW.
A memory of the amalgamations of councils. Residents wanting to keep everything the same. A group of passionate locals supporting Kiama Council to keep the council as one group. A gentle reminder how governments can change to way things are.
Photograph by Bob Shaw. Hasselblad H3DII-39, 55mm, 1/100S, f8
SPECIAL - An 800mm matted print
Several hundred people assembled on the School Flat on 30th April 2016 for this photograph. The Story is below.
In December 2015 the NSW Government announced that a large number of local councils in NSW were to be merged. Among them, Kiama Municipal Council was to merge with Shoalhaven City Council. This would dramatically reduce the representation of the Kiama residents in a new council stretching from Minnamurra to Batemans Bay.
The Keep Kiama Council Local committee was formed to oppose the amalgamation and maintain the 157 year old Kiama Municipal Council as an independent council. The campaign produced some amazing statistics of local resident support.
92% of residents said "No" in an IRIS telephone survey.
1500 people wrote submissions to the NSW Government
130 groups and individuals presented to the NSW Government Delegate.
8000 people signed petitions.
On 7th May 2016, just after this photograph was taken, 95.4% of voters voted "No" in a plebiscite.
Official Result - 7817 No, 373 Yes.
Less than a week later the NSW Government announced that Kiama Municipal Council was to remain an independent council and not merge.