Five years after its controversial creation, the Hilltops Council in southern NSW has backed a motion to implement tough budget cuts in a bid to balance the books, ABC.net reported. The council was formed in 2016 by the amalgamation of the Boorowa, Harden, and Young Shires. Since then, it has struggled financially and the motion passed at this week's meeting is designed to balance the books through a number of cost-cutting measures. It came after general manager Anthony O'Reilly warned: "continued annual deficits are unsustainable". They include a recruitment freeze, a review of the use of consultants and contractors, formal consultation around job cuts, a special rate variation after the December council elections, and asset divestment. The council hoped implementing the cuts would see the budget return to surplus in the late 2020s. Read more.