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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience
    The Honourable David Crisafulli

    Minister stands by Douglas de-amalgamation costs

    Minister for Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience
    The Honourable David Crisafulli

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    Minister stands by Douglas de-amalgamation costs

    People living in the former Douglas Shire are being urged to consider all the facts as they prepare to vote on de-amalgamation.

    Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said the report prepared by the Boundaries Commissioner and Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) accurately details the cost for Douglas to de-amalgamate.

    “This is a big decision for the region and it’s important residents know exactly what they are voting for on March 9,” Mr Crisafulli said.

    QTC found the initial cost for Douglas to de-amalgamate would be $8,146,000 or an extra $701 per ratepayer in the first year.

    There would also be ongoing costs of an extra $462 per ratepayer every year thereafter, rising with inflation.

    Mr Crisafulli refuted claims by the Friends of Douglas Shire (FODS) that the Boundaries Commissioner’s report was wrong.

    “Residents can be very confident in QTC’s numbers,” he said.

    “Respected firm KPMG has independently investigated the IT requirements for Douglas including upgrades to existing infrastructure and website costs.

    “You can’t just plug in a five year old computer and expect it to work, or build a cheap website that won’t allow residents to pay their rates.

    “All historical data used by QTC has been audited by the Queensland Audit Office and the forecasts have been tested to make sure they are fair and reasonable.”

    Mr Crisafulli said additional information, including the full KPMG report, the five-year forecasts, and profit and loss balance sheets prepared by QTC, was sent to FODS in December.

    “A new Douglas Shire Council must be able to at least maintain current service levels to residents if it de-amalgamates from Cairns Regional Council,” he said.

    “While the report shows a new Douglas Shire Council would have a mountain to climb just to be viable in the long term, we believe locals should decide if a rates increase is worth it.”

    Only registered voters in the former council area will vote at the referendum on March 9.

    De-amalgamation information is available at http://www.dlg.qld.gov.au/bc// 

    Referendum information is available at http://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/

    [ENDS] 20 February 2013

    Media Contact: Andrew Longmire 0418 216 627