LNP candidate for Rockhampton Gavin Finch says his party will review the Local Government Act if elected.
LNP candidate for Rockhampton Gavin Finch says his party will review the Local Government Act if elected. Sharyn Oneill

LNP promising to clean up the Act

THE LNP will review Queensland's contentious Local Government Act if elected, the party's Rockhampton candidate Gavin Finch said yesterday.

The former Mt Morgan mayor takes on Labor's Bill Byrne and six other candidates in the March 24 battle to replace Robert Schwarten as the Member for Rockhampton.

Earlier this week the Local Government Act was thrust into the spotlight when Frenchville's Brad Bauer told Rockhampton Regional Council the way it interpreted the act placed far too much power with the chief executive and his staff and left the representatives of the people impotent bystanders.

Mr Finch said he'd spoken on several occasions with Mr Bauer about his concerns.

He said the Act had restricted the effectiveness of councillors who had been hamstrung as they tried to guide council through one of the most difficult times in local government history following amalgamation.

Mr Finch said the Queensland Government had handled the amalgamation process poorly.

If elected the LNP would also review deamalgamations, however Mr Finch stopped short of saying he would support a deamalgamation even though he recognised the "attention to detail had gone" in the former smaller council areas.

"The way amalgamation was handled was a mistake but we have to do the best we can from here," Mr Finch said.

"This needs to be thoroughly looked at ... obviously there is the petition of some 10,000 people from the old Livingstone shire (who want to see things go back to the way they were)."

Meanwhile, Mr Finch said he was disappointed a motion proposed by Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Brad Carter to review the local government's operations didn't succeed.

He said a similar review was undertaken before he became Mt Morgan mayor helped provide direction when he assumed the top job.

"If you put your hand up to be elected as a councillor or mayor, with power comes responsibility and the future will be a time when councillors will not be able to hide behind bureaucrats and stand up on their own feet," Mr Finch said.



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