Gladstone Regional Council in session.
Gladstone Regional Council in session.

Mayor ridicules de-amalgamation

GLADSTONE Regional Council celebrated its second birthday yesterday.

It has been two years since Gladstone, Calliope and Miriam Vale councils were forced to merge by the state government amid some public protest.

With divisions still remaining within the 32 amalgamated councils statewide, the state LNP has brought up the possibility of de-amalgamation which has angered Gladstone mayor George Creed.

While it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Gladstone amalgamation, Cr Creed said the region is only now starting to see the benefits.

He said that while he had never supported amalgamation when it was legislated by the State Government, the suggestion that councils could be de-amalgamated was akin to suggesting that an egg could be unscrambled.

“It’s totally impractical,” he said.

“Even if it were possible to go back, I don’t think we would. Despite the costs involved in amalgamation, we are beginning to see some benefits.”

He cited as an example council’s ability to fund larger capital works projects such as the current Gladstone Airport upgrade which would not have been possible pre-amalgamation.

“For the next 15 years, 4.5 per cent of rates revenue will go toward meeting the costs of amalgamation, a figure well below the levels of other amalgamated councils in Queensland,” Cr Creed said.