Boundary feud bleeds ‘bad blood’
ROCKHAMPTON Mayor Margaret Strelow wants the boundary review process fast-tracked because there is "too much bad blood" on the issue.
Cr Strelow has called on every candidate who stands for the State electorates of Keppel, Rockhampton and Mirani, to publicly agree that should the residents of the northern suburbs vote to return to Rockhampton Regional Council, they will support that return with "no strings attached".
"I'm not prepared to see the boundary issue just kicked down the road into the next term of State Government," Cr Strelow said.
"There have been too many promises and there has been too much bad blood."
The mayor's comments followed a Morning Bulletin story last week which revealed residents of Glenlee, Glendale and Rockyview will have a lengthy wait to find out whether they remain in Livingstone Shire or go back to the Rockhampton region.
Importantly, they will get another chance to be heard on their preference.
The office of Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe confirmed that a boundary review was not expected to start until next year.
Clearly that did not sit well with Cr Strelow.
"I accept that the Boundary Commissioner has other priorities in the lead up to the State election, but I am calling on - and will repeatedly call on - every candidate who stands for the State electorates of Keppel, Rockhampton, or Mirani to publicly agree that should the residents of the northern suburbs vote to return to Rockhampton Regional Council area that they will support that return with no strings attached," she said.
"I am especially interested to hear clear public statements from party leaders as well.
"We need a commitment from whoever forms the government that there will be an outcome that is fair for the community who pay rates in the Rockhampton Region.
"Ratepayers of Rockhampton Regional Council who vote in the State electorates of Keppel, Rockhampton, and Mirani will bear in mind that their Rockhampton Regional Council rates are subsidising Livingstone Shire Council to the tune of about $5 million a year.
"These are difficult enough times."
Cr Strelow said Rockhampton Regional Council recognised its role as the regional capital, and in that capacity it provided facilities that were used by a broader community outside its boundaries.
"But the communities of Glenlee, Glendale, and Rockyview have repeatedly voted to become a proper part of the Rockhampton Regional Council area. "They are in, every sense of the word, valued Rockhampton Region residents. Any further delay is a kick in the guts to not just the northern communities, but to every Rockhampton Regional Council ratepayer."