Fitzroy fights amalgamation

By JOSEPH TERNOWETSKY ? FITZROY Shire will send representatives to a local government conference in Brisbane next month to fight amalgamation of shire councils.

Mayor John Hopkins, Cr Ellen Smith, and CEO Lyle Harmanl, will attend the conference on May 31.

Boundary changes, shared resources and amalgamation will be among topics on the agenda at the Queensland Local Government Association conference.

Cr Hopkins said amalgamation would be the hot topic.

"There is a lot of talk about amalgamation and we need to ensure this does not happen with Fitzroy Shire,'' he said.

Although Queensland shires have not been forcibly amalgamated since the 1990s, councils are still protesting against the changes.

Cr Hopkins said Fitzroy Shire would lose its voice if it were to amalgamate with Rockhampton.

"We need to maintain our own identity.''

And the Opposition spokesman for Local Government and Planning, Ted Malone, agrees. He will also attend the conference.

"The shires around Rockhampton are just too different to amalgamate,'' Mr Malone said.

"Amalgamation weakens the number of representatives in a given shire.''

But Mr Malone said the threat of amalgamation was real.

"The state would benefit because it simplifies things for them,'' he said. "There would be less local governments to deal with.



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