(Cairns... Far North Queensland)
COUNCIL AMALGAMATIONS - FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED
of Queensland will be aware that there are undeniable problems with the
administration of some of Queensland’s local Councils. It could be suggested
that the present list of those that are being looked into should be increased,
but that claim is for another day.
for all of us, whatever our views, we should be aware that as well as looking at
the Local authorities because of their management, or lack of it, the State
Government has a second agenda and that relates to Local Government
put some things on the record.
I believe that the closer a representative is to his/her electorate, the better
will be the quality of the representation.
I personally have no problem with our present system of Local Government in so
far as representation is concerned. By this I mean the numbers are about right
for the style of Government and provided every elected person works for the
electorate, as distinct from any other interest, then the present system should
it pays us to realise that if a higher level of Government decides it is going
to do something at a lower level of government then you can be pretty well
assured that it will happen irrespective of the wishes of the local people. This
can be done because most people, not in the effected area, take only a passing
interest in the difficulties of another area. This is fair enough as gratuitous
intervention can often be most unwelcome.
is why it is important that we know exactly what the State government’s agenda
is. If it is to clean up a bit of errant administration in some local
authorities then let’s co-operate with them. However on the other hand should
overall amalgamation be their goal then it is our right as ratepayers, and
taxpayers, to know and to be able to have a look at it and see how it affects
us. What we don’t want to be doing is looking at an “administrative”
matter when what is being dealt with is a “re-organisational” matter.
of local authority areas, aka “the re-organisational matter”, has been with
us for years. Many will recall that Gough Whitlam had a plan for regionalisation
and at the time maps of Queensland were floating about defining the proposed
regions. The idea had some merit, as there are areas of interest that go beyond
a single local authority area. The suggestion in Whitlam’s time however caused
considerable unrest as people were not sure where it would end and how it would
is of interest to note that Prime Minister John Howard has repeatedly said that
if he were redesigning the Australian Constitution then there would be NO
provision for any States.
that time a ‘regional system’ of Local Government has been introduced which
is known as the Regional Organisation of Councils (ROC) system and that seems to
be working quite well.
are currently a total of 64 ROC’s around Australia with Queensland having 18
ROC’s listed as follows:
is currently only one (1) FNQ mayor supportive of a SUPER Council by
cherry-picking adjoining tourism towns, however that mayor is renowned as being
an egomaniac with illusions of grandeur, so he doesn't get a guernsey from
non-recalcitrant mayors when it comes to making any real decisions!
thing for sure is that if the State Government is minded to go the way of
amalgamation, then local Councils must be put on notice so as to achieve the
most beneficial result for local ratepayers who, after all, pay the bills
incurred by local Councils.
RETURN TO: INDEPENDENT VIEW
Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870