De-amalgamation submissions close

FROM March 15 2008, Gladstone City Council amalgamated with Calliope Shire Council, Miriam Vale Shire and the Gladstone Calliope Aerodrome Board to form the new Gladstone Regional Council.

The Gladstone region was one of many areas impacted by amalgamation.

Groups wanting to resurrect their former Council shires had until close of business yesterday to submit their proposals.

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said the submission process was critical to let communities have their say on the 2008 forced amalgamations.

"The former Labor Government declared war on local governments, wiping out 83 councils and tearing the heart out of communities across the State," Mr Crisafulli said.

"Despite this fact, we have urged communities to put forward submissions based on what's in their best interests now and in the future, and not just to try and right a wrong from the past.

"There has been some criticism that we have made the process too onerous, but this is a serious business and it's our responsibility to make sure communities know all the potential costs involved."

The submission had to include a petition signed by at least 20 per cent of the voting population that showed an understanding of all the cost implications.

Petitioners needed to demonstrate an understanding that the former shire wishing to de-amalgamate would have to meet all costs involved, including their own, and those of the Council they wished to break away from.

If the Minister refers a proposal to the Commissioner, Mr Meng will provide a report including recommendations to the Minister by 28 November 2012.

"It would be irresponsible of us as a government to allow communities to de-amalgamate on a whim only to have people revolt months later at the prospect of higher rates to pay for it," Mr Crisafulli said.

"If a submission stacks up, it will go to a vote and if more than 50 per cent of the population says yes, then they will return to their former shire."