CCBA members vote to conditional support of de-amalgamation
CAPRICORN Coast Business Alliance has come out in conditional support of deamalgamation after a membership vote on Monday.
The CCBA had made no official comment until now, instead preferring to research and engage with all sides before the committee's recommendation was put to the membership.
Only 60% of the 70-member organisation voted, with 62% supporting the recommendation, 21% against and 17% remained undecided.
CCBA president, Gary Kerr said the committee had done exhaustive research and consultation prior to reaching its recommendation.
"Our conclusion was, beyond doubt, we should recommend to our members to support deamalgamation," Mr Kerr said.
"Our assessment was that costs incurred, the intangible benefits of local decision-making, community engagement, and the ability to increase efficiencies and service levels from deamalgamation far outweighed the benefits of remaining amalgamated."
Yeppoon businesswoman and co-owner of O'Grady's Bakehouse, Madonna O'Grady, said she supported deamalgamation because she didn't believe amalgamation was working.
"I'm pro-deamalgamation … I'm not saying anyone is doing a bad job. It's just unworkable.
"It's too big. If it's smaller, it's more workable."
Ms O'Grady raised a recurrent issue among those dissatisfied on the coast, the foreshore.
"The beachfront is in a state of disrepair … there's a pool of money coming from this area. The very least you could do is use some of that money for maintenance," she said.
Real Estate agent, Lynelle Vale agreed.
"I've got a lot of issues: maintenance, weeds, grass growing through the concrete," she said.
"We're not getting the same promotion we used to when we were our own shire council. We're not getting value. I feel our rates are better off here."
Gary Kerr said the support was conditional, but acknowledged there was no way they could enforce the conditions.
"But what it does is put the CCIM and post-vote transition team on notice that these conditions will be pursued by CCBA on behalf of its members.
"We would expect CCIM to acknowledge and support these conditions well before the vote on March 9.
"If the vote does not support deamalgamation we will be pursuing these issues with the Rockhampton Regional Council," said Mr Kerr.
The transition committee includes representation from the business community;
A business support and development policy and incentive program be developed in consultation with the local business community and included in the new council's operations;
A dedicated business support officer be included in the new council
An economic development sub-committee of council be included in the new council structure that includes representatives from the local business community.