Amalgamation brewing again

By MIKARLA THURECHT THE "A'' word, amalgamation.

It can spark fear in the heart of any councillor in Livingstone, Fitzroy and Mount Morgan, but it's a different story when it comes to Rockhampton.

It seems none of Rockhampton's three neighbouring shires is keen to officially join forces with the beef capital.

All three believe their services would be unnecessarily lost and centralised in Rockhampton.

But despite their hesitation, it seems the discussion must go on.

All four councils this week agreed to conduct an independent study to explore representation, joint boards of management, boundary realignments and part amalgamations.

Livingstone proposed the study, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig said the study would be a proactive and historic step, which would hopefully deliver the best results for residents.

"If there is a way of getting better outcomes, whether it is through economies of scale or simply speaking with a collective regional voice to secure major infrastructure, these options will be explored,'' Cr Ludwig said.

He said while all councils would be keeping an "open mind'' he remained unconvinced about a super shire.

"It's not about amalgamations, it's about the best regional outcomes for each council,'' he said.

He preferred a joint partnership approach where councils shared responsibilities.



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