Marlborough residents mood on de-amalgamation is open-minded
IT WAS Marlborough's turn at the weekend to hear both sides of the de-amalgamation debate, with about 25 people taking the opportunity.
Mayor Margaret Strelow addressed the small crowd in the morning in the local hall.
She was followed by the de-amalgamation team in the pub after lunch even though driving force Cr Bill Ludwig was ill and unable to attend.
Marlborough is a far cry from the Capricorn Coast.
The tiny town is in a primary production area with a school for 26 children.
One resident who had lived there all his life, but didn't want to be named, said a lot of younger people were starting to move into the town.
"It's a safe place to bring up kids," he said.
Both he and his wife said they were clear from the start about de-amalgamation - NO.
"A lot of people here don't really want to go back to the way it was; it wasn't good under Livingstone.
"We pay a lot of rates but all we get back is roads, no sewerage or garbage.
"These little areas are never going to get what they want because the population isn't there.
"I think the general feeling here today was open-minded.
"People want to get the facts," he said.
Questions in Marlborough centred around local issues, differential rates for rural properties and roadworks.
Division 1 councillor Glenda Mather attended both meetings along with Cr Neil Fisher.
"I've got nothing against Bill … he just likes to have his own way," Cr Mather said.
"I hope nobody ever has to go through this again in Queensland.
"It's family destroying, colleague destroying, university people are counteracting each other's professionalism.
"It's sad because there's a wedge that's been dug and it needn't be. All opinions matter.
"Bill has his capabilities, strong points, and weaker points, we all have.
"But in 2008 we got in and by September he was talking de-amalgamation, that it's not working," she said.
"I said 'Bill, you haven't turned up to any of the workshops'. Of course it won't work if we don't all pull in the same direction."
Cr Mather has 21 years experience as a councillor with 16 years in Livingstone before this, her second term with RRC. She has served under five mayors and only Stephen Schwarten has a longer record, by 11 months.
"For the first two years we had workshops constantly … you name it, we had workshops on everything, but there were no attendance records.
"Only official meetings were required to have an attendance form," she said.
"Dog control, wage structure, everything was different and we had to pull them together with a consensus from all of us that this is how we wanted to go.
Some of us were there every day, every night anywhere we had to be, we were there ... but where's Bill?
At Emu Park last week someone asked him when we were going to amend the Local Government Act.
"He didn't know ... we did it the day before," she said.
"He wasn't there.
"Neither was Tom and we had one of the top men from LGAQ going through all the changes to the Local Government Act."
"What really troubles me is we have a community in crisis."