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12th Mar 2018 – article by Geoff Egan
MERGING Queensland’s councils was lauded as a way to save taxpayers millions.
But a decade after amalgamation the Queensland Government has no data on what, if any, savings amalgamating councils made.
The much-protested upheaval, including a threatened plebiscite, turned 157 councils into 72 and ended 724 councillor positions.
From March 15, 2008, amalgamations were designed to cut costs through greater economies of scale.
Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Greg Hallam said the mergers had not solved councils’ financial woes. “Any claims of savings were clearly illusory,” he said. “Financial conditions haven’t changed one iota. Amalgamation wasn’t the silver bullet.”
[This article continues for several paragraphs. Read the full text at ipswichadvertiser.comn.au]
March 12, 2018
Member for Gympie Tony Perrett believes Council amalgamations, which were supposed to produce many benefits for ratepayers, have failed to deliver any value.
Speaking on the 10th anniversary of the controversial 2008 council mergers, the former Kilkivan Shire councillor and Gympie Regional Council Deputy Mayor said in hindsight, the mergers were really a State Government cost-shifting exercise.
[Article continues for several paragraphs … ]
Read the full story at southburnett.com.au
Dear members, member groups and supporters,
As we advance into 2018 it is becoming clearer that the depth of issues arising for Queensland’s Local Councils is increasing.
For example, the new CEO at Logan sacked for drawing attention to issues within that council? Many other issues affect many councils right across the state.
Attending our bi-annual forum is one strategy for Queensland citizens to declare their concern not only about their local council, but about all the issues that are affecting Queensland Councils.
In the last year, at great expense to ratepayers and tax payers we have seen 5 inquiries that to this day still leave many of the real issues facing Qld Councils unresolved.
(These included: Operation Belcarra, Financial Sustainability, the review of local council elections as conducted by ECQ, the councillor complaint process review and Making Public Allegations Public.)
The inquiries in total are nothing more than a bandaid. We need a comprehensive inquiry into the state of councils in Queensland.
Hence again I urge you to attend the forum.
We are very pleased to announce that Bob Ansett has agreed to speak. Bob was a stalwart of the successful campaign to de-amalgamate Noosa Shire.
Our bi-partisan forum will be joined by Jonathan Sri (Greens Councillor from Gabba Ward Brisbane) and Ken Park (Former Mayor) as major speakers.
We look forward to their contributions and the Q&A sessions with these speakers.
Please see the attached flyer – but here are some more details:
DATES: Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th February 2018. Starting time: 9.00am with close 12:00PM Sunday
PLACE: The Redcliffe Hall which is entered via the car park located at 138 Sutton St, Redcliffe. (Old Crazy Clark’s Building)
COST: $20 includes morning and afternoon tea. Lunch can be purchased or BYO.
FORUM DINNER: ALL participants and their friends are welcome to join us on Saturday night for dinner at My Greek Cuzina/Ceylon Inn*. This will be at your own cost.
* PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF DINNER VENUE – THE RSL is being renovated)
BOOKING: Please send your RSVP by reply email before Monday 19th February if possible (including for the Forum Dinner) . Late RSVPs will be accepted, but for catering purposes , the earlier the better.
We hope to have an online booking facility available in the near future. Those who have RSVP’d will be advised of further details as they come to hand.
- Scarborough Caravan Park 07 3203 8864 http://www.scarboroughholidayvillage.com.au/villas/
- Kipparing Motor Village 07 3283 3933 http://www.kipparingvillagemotel.com.au
- Redcliffe Motor Inn 07 3282 4600 http://www.redcliffemotorinn.com.au
Plus a google search will bring other accommodation options.
My Google search for accommodation indicated limited choices – so be quick.
Do not hesitate to contact Colin (President) on 04 3507 3072 or Joanna (Secretary) on 04 8898 8383 for more information.
The QLGRA appreciates all the work of the Moreton Ratepayers Action Group in bringing this meeting together.
Please do not hesitate to forward this to others who may be interested.
Looking forward to seeing you there on the 24th February,
Qld Local Government Reform Alliance (QLGRA), Inc.
Phone: 07 5463 5039 (Preferred) 04 8898 8383.
The QLGRA 2017 AGM and Annual Forum will be held in Gympie on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd September 2017, at the Freemason’s Hall, 39 Channon Street, Gympie. For catering purposes, please RSVP by Friday 25th August 2017. The full cost of the event will be confirmed soon, but is expected to be approximately $40.
On August 11th, 2107 Arthur Gorrie, senior journalist at the Gympie Times published the following interview with QLGRA president Colin Hewett, concerning local government issues and their impact on the QLGRA AGM, to be held in Gympie on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd September 2017, at the Freemason’s Hall in Channon Street, Gympie.
You can read this article online at:
Or view the full article on our website: 2017, August 11 – Gympie Times Interview.
A reproduction of the article on page 3 of the Gympie Times can be viewed here:
Gympie ‘hot spot’ of council concerns
Arthur Gorrie | 11th Aug 2017 5:00 AM
GYMPIE and Fraser Coast regions are “hot spots” for public concern about council performance and accountability, according to a peak ratepayers’ group campaigning for reform.
And that concern will be given focus in Gympie at the Queensland Local Government Reform Alliance’s annual general meeting and public forum to be held in Gympie on the first weekend in September.
The alliance says council amalgamations have been a failure in many cases and have curbed accountablility to the public.
QLGRA president Colin Hewett told The Gympie Times yesterday he believed the state Local Government Department was presiding over a council system which was “on the verge of collapse”.
The Gympie meeting on September 2 and 3, at the Freemason’s Hall in Channon St, will be open to the public.
Mr Hewett said there were mounting concerns about the “strong mayor syndrome” in which changes introduced by the former Newman government had concentrated council power in Chief Executive Officers and mayors.
“Councillors are on the outer and do not have to be involved in anything much,” he said.
Mr Hewitt acknowledged the campaign comes at a time when there is political pressure for reform from Independent Queensland MP Rob Pyne and Queensland Greens’ candidate Amy McMahon.
Ms McMahon will stand against Deputy Premier Jackie Trad in her electorate of South Brisbane at the next state election.
Ms Trad has admitted there is concern in the community about the role of council CEOs investigating complaints, along with mayors, when they may be the subject of those complaints.
Mr Hewett said the failure of accountability bodies to function with any real independence had created a system of complaints handling that amounted to “Caesar investigating the conduct of Caesar and coming up with findings in favour of Caesar”.
On behalf of all of our members, the QLGRA has lodged a comprehensive submission to the Queensland state government’s review of council sustainability, conducted by the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee.
You can access the full document here: 2017 QLGRA Sustainability Submission.
Supporting documentation can be accessed here: