Amalgamation poll invalid: Carter
WHILE most Queensland mayors seemed to cop criticism of their amalgamated councils on the chin, Brad Carter has fought back.
The Sunday Mail yesterday revealed a poll that showed two thirds of the state’s residents wanted to see the “super councils” disbanded.
But the Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor has labelled the poll “statistically invalid” and says it isn’t an accurate reflection of residents’ views.
Cr Carter yesterday said that of the 150 Rockhampton region residents surveyed for the poll, 77.3% said they were against amalgamation.
He said this foreshadowed that the rest of their answers would show negative views about the merger.
“It’s like asking the Australian Test cricket team if they would like the Poms to win the Ashes,” Cr Carter said.
“My view is that the survey was statistically invalid with questions designed to get a negative response.”
He said amalgamation was a thing of the past and the council had been getting on with the job of making hard decisions about where to invest in the tired infrastructure left to them, particularly in the Livingstone area.
“That includes the re-lining of sewerage mains, bringing forward the Yeppoon town hall, investing in the all abilities playground, doing up the James and Mary Sts intersection and doing up Tanby Rd,” Cr Carter said.
“They’ve all be done by an amalgamated council and I think it’s unlikely that those sorts of works would have been able to be accomplished by an un-amalgamated council.”
He also suggested that rate increases would have occurred regardless of whether amalgamation had happened or not.
Cr Carter also said he was disappointed that the Local Government Association of Queensland, which was involved in the commission of the poll, had not informed council about the poll or given it a chance to comment.
He said he would put the issue of whether or not the council should review its membership with the LGAQ before councillors.
“It’s $104,000 a year for membership. Our council needs to consider whether there’s value for money there or if that’s money better deployed on other projects.”
Meanwhile, former Livingstone Shire Council Mayor, Bill Ludwig said he supported an independent review of Labor’s forced amalgamation in the Rockhampton region.
The Rockhampton Regional Councillor said forcing four councils into one was a “massive blunder”.
“It is clear that the forced amalgamations have been a very costly flop, resulting in higher rates and bigger less efficient councils,” Cr Ludwig said.
He said he supported the idea of partial de-amalgamations and said it should be instigated in areas were amalgamations were not able to deliver promised better outcomes.
“Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast is a classic example of this,” Cr Ludwig said.
“With current growth projections it defies common sense to try to manage the coast as an outer suburb of Rockhampton. Both communities lose out.”