Friday 12 September 2008

The Libs will allow Douglas to go it alone

The newly formed LNP plan to allow Douglas and Noosa, two of the strongest opponents of amalgamation, to go their separate way, if elected.

They say that it is designed to "rebuild relationships between state and local governments" that they cite as being diminished under Labor.

They will fund de-mergers by those towns and communities who wish to govern alone.

This follows the heated meeting in Mossman two weeks ago when 500 locals voted to de-amalgamate from Cairns Regional Council, the move represented by their Councillor Julia Leu.

LNP's leader Lawrence Springborg said that local government is "an organisation of people elected to govern an area smaller than a state." He cites international research that confirms local governments are best with populations of up to 80,000 people. There is around 165,000 under the new CRC catchment.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council represents 290,000 people with a 5% p.a. growth rate. The old Noosa shire has around 50,000, who strongly opposed amalgamation. Like Douglas, they wanted their unique beachside nature to have a strong local political voice.

Spokesman for the Friends of Noosa, Bob Ansett says that the Beattie/Bligh promise of no employee redundancies for three years isn't working. "There are now examples of three people doing the same job. How efficient is that?" he asks.

I'm all for Douglas going their own way, under a new management. In the first four short months, we've seen a disparate sense of planning an d stretched resources, let alone the dis-parity of water charges, rates and even rubbish collection.

The new CRC's first budget, was poorly received by the majority of residents, and will be the hardest reputation to claw back to gain some credibility and respect from those that they seek support from in 2012.

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