Interview with Colin Hewett by Arthur Gorrie (Gympie Times)
Gympie ‘hot spot’ of council concerns
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”.
Interview with Bob Johnson on ABC Local Radio – Capricornia
Review called for to look into local government
19 August 2016 , 1:47 PM by Jacquie Mackay
Do you think your local council is doing a good job or not?
Do you have complaints about what they do, or the way they do it?
If so then you may well be interested to hear that there is a State body that looks after the problems of ratepayers in Queensland – and this weekend they will be holding their annual forum here in Central Queensland.
Bob Johnston, the President of the Queensland Local Government Reform Alliance, explains what they do.
Interview with Joe Bridgeman on ABC Local Radio – Capricornia
Peak Downs residents want a return of their old council
01 October 2015 , 8:56 AM by Jacquie Mackay
Since the beginning of the year a group of passionate locals around Capella have been meeting and lobbying for what used to be the Peak Downs Shire to break away from the Central Highlands Regional Council.
The Peak Downs Reform Association recently presented a petition of over 800 signatures to de-amalgamate from the Central Highlands Regional Council to the State Parliament.
Minister for Local Government Jackie Trad set out a list of requirements for the group to achieve before she will take the matter any further; such as the demonstrated support of the community, a referendum of the whole council area, and the assurance that financial viability of both councils is guaranteed.
Peak Downs Reform Association Spokesperson Joe Bridgeman says they have the demonstrated support of the community but they are being kept from holding a referendum by the Central Highlands Regional Council and he insists that they are financially viable.
I asked Cr Gai Sypher from the Central Highlands Regional Council how the council views this de-amalgamation movement.