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

    Residents vote in favour of de-amalgamation

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

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Residents vote in favour of de-amalgamation

    Local Government Minister David Crisafulli is vowing to begin work on establishing four new councils after residents in the former Noosa, Livingstone, Mareeba and Douglas shires voted to de-amalgamate yesterday.

    Mr Crisafulli said the referendums were a win for democracy and marked the final chapter in a dark period for local government that culminated in Labor’s forced amalgamations in 2008.

    “Residents in the four areas have chosen to put their money where their hearts are to get their council back,” Mr Crisafulli said.

    “We will now begin work on the transition process of establishing four new councils that will be able to deliver the services that ratepayers expect.

    “Each council will need to meet all of the costs of de-amalgamation, including the costs of the remaining council, and provide the same level of services residents are getting now.”

    Mr Crisafulli said he would appoint a transition manager for each of the four areas next month who will work with the current regional council to work out the mechanics of de-amalgamation.

    “It’s not an easy job and it won’t come cheap but we must roll up our sleeves and make it happen,” he said.

    “We’ve been up front right from the start that there would be costs involved.”

    Elections for new mayors and councillors will take place in the last quarter of 2013 with the four new councils to officially start work on 1 January, 2014.

    The government promised to take submissions on de-amalgamation with a focus on Noosa and Douglas.

    Nineteen submissions were received of which five were referred to the Boundaries Commissioner and Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) for further assessment.

    Despite the potential for heavy costs, these five appeared to have a chance to create two viable councils if de-amalgamation was to go-ahead.

    QTC provided a full break down of the costs involved, including those for the remaining council, with the breakaway council to meet all of the costs.

    Of the five, Isis was not sent to a vote because QTC found it would have been distressed from day one and placed too great a financial burden on ratepayers.

    [ENDS] 10 March 2013

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