Ratepayers would ‘cop brunt’ of suburbs transfer

RESIDENTS hoping for the transfer of suburbs Glenlee, Glendale and Rockyview from Livingstone Shire to Rockhampton Regional Council have been warned.

Livingstone Shire Mayor Andy Ireland today offered his view in direct response to RRC’s recent push to include the three suburbs into its electorate.

Joined by councillors Andrea Friend, Glenda Mather and Adam Belot, Mayor Ireland made clear his opposition to the move – claiming it would leave the area “unviable” for the next decade.

The severe impact, he said, would likely stem from subsequent higher rates, along with an expected reduction of local services.

LSC councillors are calling upon the community to share their thoughts on the matter.
LSC councillors are calling upon the community to share their thoughts on the matter.

“I know there’s a core group of people in those three suburbs who want to go to Rockhampton, I respect that, but our role as councillors is to work on behalf of the entire community.

“We will be generating losses; we’ll be spending more money than we’ll be getting in,” he argued.

Mayor Ireland said the council had also considered resident reviews – dated back to 2014 – following a previous amalgamation.

“It determined the overwhelming imperative now has to be the financial sustainability, capacity to deliver affordable and ability to support growth for the while shire,” he said.

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Livingstone Shire Councillor Glenda Mather at Glenlee Park.
Livingstone Shire Councillor Glenda Mather at Glenlee Park.

The most recent financial impact study three years ago found the move would further limit Livingstone’s capacity to minimise rates, maintain adequate service levels and raise funding for economic and community growth projects.

“The study found up to 70 per cent of council costs associated with these suburbs will remain following the potential transfer,” Cr Ireland said.

In 2017, the net revenue loss was reportedly forecast to be over $2 million annually.

“Keeping Glenlee, Glendale and Rockyview is key to the future prosperity of Livingstone.”

However, residents will soon be afforded the chance to share their opinions on the matter through a shire-wide survey in coming weeks.

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“It’s an issue that impacts the entire shire, not just three suburbs, so it’s vital that all community members have the opportunity to have their say.”

“We have an obligation to give the entire community an opportunity to have a say on this, particularly if it’s going to have an impact on them financially,” Cr Ireland said.

Despite not being a formal vote, results will assist LSC in its submission to the Local Government Change Commission – prior to next year’s review.

Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Andy Ireland, Councillors Andrea Friend, Adam Bellow and Glenda Mathers oppose the transfer.
Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Andy Ireland, Councillors Andrea Friend, Adam Bellow and Glenda Mathers oppose the transfer.

“It’s a combined approach, we will obviously be controlling the responses in a sense that we can identified where they are coming from,” Cr Ireland said.

“This has been emphasised to the Local Government Minister and the Local Government Change Commission as a matter of urgency.”

Ratepayers with an email address registered with LSC will receive one electronic survey per household by early November.

Those without a registered email will receive a physical survey by mail.



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