Di­vided we fall?

Axing di­vi­sional coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tion an un­pop­u­lar move, group says

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY Matthew.mcin­er­ney@apn.com.au

THE move by Bund­aberg re­gional coun­cil­lors to re­quest Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter David Crisafulli re­move di­vi­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tion has been met with mixed re­ac­tion.

Isis Dis­trict Res­i­dents and Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent John van Barn­eveld said while he wasn’t for or against the move, he was con­cerned by the lack of com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion.

“It goes against what we want,” Mr van Barn­eveld said, cit­ing polls un­der­taken by the coun­cil in 2009, 2010 and ear­lier this year that showed the majority of the com­mu­nity sup­ported di­vi­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Di­vi­sion 2 coun­cil­lor Tony Ric­cia­rdi voted in favour of the ap­pli­ca­tion as he be­lieved all rep­re­sen­ta­tives should be “ac­count­able to ev­ery ratepayer”.

“The last elec­tion where four coun­cil­lors (my­self in­cluded) were re­turned un­op­posed is, in my view, not a true ex­pres­sion of the view of vot­ers across the re­gion,” Cr Ric­cia­rdi said.

The only role voted upon by ev­ery el­i­gi­ble voter is mayor.

The coun­cil re­viewed its elec­toral bound­aries at an or­di­nary meet­ing on Tues­day, which, as part of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act 2009, it must do no later than March 1, 2015.

Act­ing mayor David Batt said although the coun­cil could ask for di­vi­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tion to be abol­ished, the decision lay with Mr Crisafulli.

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