QLGRA members we need your action to support two important initiatives

By Queendland Local Government Reform Alliance

Dear QLGRA Member

We need your action to support two initiatives.  We need all QLGRA Group and individual members who feel strongly about forced amalgamations and the inherent lack of democracy to speak up now by writing to their State MP supporting the two petitions about to be presented to parliament.  This action will have the added effect of staking your own claim for change.

We believe the petitions will be on the agenda for 5th May

Residents in the Capella/Peak Downs region have collected over 800 signatures and presented a petition to State parliament which we believe will be on the agenda for 5th May.  Click here for more information on this initiative.  This petition clearly states their wishes to de-amalgamate from the Central Highlands Regional Council.

Rate Payers in the Maryborough region have done the same.  They are equally disgruntled with the failure of their new Mega council, Fraser Coast Regional Council, to meet the needs of the region and have an overwhelming desire for more local, responsive and representative council.

These two submissions will carry weight in their own right. However, now is a golden opportunity for residents of the 19 Regional Council areas throughout Queensland who are equally dis-satisfied, to be heard by adding their voices in support of these submissions.

This action will serve two purposes:

  1. It will add weight to the two petitions already presented so they may be seriously considered this time instead of being binned as happened under the previous government
  2. It will tell Parliament that a large number of Queenslanders are unhappy with the Mega Councils foisted on them in 2008 and are calling for change.

Members, now is a golden opportunity to make an impact – we have a hung parliament so MPs are very keen to keep voters on side; add to that the fact that the vast majority of the parliamentarians are “new” and no doubt are trying to do the right thing – when they receive a flood of letters from their constituents supporting these two petitions and outlining the failure of the Mega councils throughout Queensland they will take notice.

So as a matter of urgency let’s add our voice to the residents of the Capella/Peak Downs and Maryborough regions and make our State representatives aware that the Mega Councils are a disaster and there is an urgent need for change.

Regards

Astrid Kennedy

WebEditor.

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8500 signatures on council de-amalgamation petition

16th Apr 2015 5:00 AM

Clifford Thomas and Bruce Sanders member for Maryborough

Clifford Thomas presents a petition to Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders calling for de-amalgamation of Fraser Coast Regional Council.- Alistair Brightman

A PETITION to de-amalgamate the Fraser Coast Regional Council by having Maryborough, Woocoo and Tiaro form its own council, leaving Hervey Bay on its own, has been handed to State member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders.

The petition has been signed by more than 8500 people who believe not enough is being done for the region outside Hervey Bay.

Mr Saunders said the petition represented an important aspect of democracy, allowing people to be heard.

But he felt that the cost of de-amalgamating the Fraser Coast Regional Council might prove prohibitive, saying it could reach up to $25 million.

Clifford Thomas, who presented the petition, questioned the suggested $25 million price tag of de-amalgamating, saying it had cost the Noosa Shire Council $2.62 million to do so.

He said trying to work out the cost of de-amalgamation would be irrelevant until a Transition Committee put a figure on it.

Mr Thomas said Maryborough, Tiaro and Woocoo residents were concerned about having to pay for projects centric to Hervey Bay, including the Hervey Bay CBD renewal, Nikenbah sports precinct and a function centre.

But Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell said it was Maryborough and the outlying areas that were benefiting from amalgamation as, thanks to greater economies of scale, it meant bigger projects and more work could be carried out in areas across the Fraser Coast.

Petition To: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, The petition of residents of the State of Queensland draws to the attention of the House that the recent forced amalgamation of the Maryborough Region to Hervey Bay has failed. Rural and tourism towns are never going to gel. Neighbouring rural towns Gympie and Bundaberg are surging to prosperity while Maryborough is slowly dying. Our Councillors are unable to represent the people because of the large areas they have to cover. Your petitioners therefore request the House to De-amalgamate Maryborough Region from Fraser Coast Regional Council to Maryborough Regional Council and Hervey Bay Council, run as two separate entities. Principal petitioner: Clifford Thomas 82 John St., 4650.