Crisafulli: "de-amalgamation is the most important vote"
IT requires a simple yes or no answer.
But Local Government Minister David Crisafulli yesterday described Livingstone voters' de-amalgamation vote as the most important vote they will ever cast.
It's one that Yeppoon man Michael Suthers has considered very carefully.
The LJ Hooker Yeppoon marketing consultant yesterday ran into Mr Crisafulli as he toured the Yeppoon CBD with Member for Keppel Bruce Young.
Mr Crisafulli listened intently to Mr Suthers' and other voters' opinions, but didn't stray from the main goal he set for himself when he decided to visit the coastal town at the heart of the de-amalgamation debate.
Mr Crisafulli urged voters to look at all the facts and figures as laid down by Boundaries Commissioner Col Meng and the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC).
He said the more he looked at the QTC figures, the more confident he was of them.
"But that doesn't mean that each ratepayer has to get a $429 rate rise in the first year," Mr Crisafulli said.
"Both sides of the argument can rightly say it could be more or could be less... because any council can cut its cloth to suit."
Mr Suthers and another person who spoke with the minister, Madonna O'Grady, believe de-amalgamation is worth the price tag.
"It may take a couple of years to pay (for de-amalgamation), but after that we are in control of our own destiny," she said.
Mr Suthers said he would most likely be voting yes to de-amalgamation come March 9.
He told the minister Rockhampton Regional Council was focusing too much on finding industrial land in Gracemere, while Yeppoon was also in dire need of it.
Mr Suthers said the coast also desperately needed more flat land for housing.
Mr Crisafulli said it was clear many people in the community were well-informed on de-amalgamation.
But he intentionally steered away from gauging the community's sentiment, saying he was simply there to remind people of the facts.
"Regardless of what happens... it has been the darkest time for local councils in recent years," Mr Crisafulli said.
De-amalgamation group Capricorn Coast Independence Movement and the new group fighting against a split, One Capricorn Region, also said they had good meetings with the minister.
Mr Crisafulli said he would remind councillors of the facts when he met with them yesterday afternoon.
Mr Suthers said he felt the coast had garnered more attention from State Government since Mr Young was elected.
"We haven't had that in the past and I think the community is being able to voice their opinion," he said.