‘No’ to axing divisions
Childers, Gin Gin vote to keep electoral boundaries amid investigation
THE communities of Childers and Gin Gin have come out strongly against a Bundaberg Regional Council proposal to abolish electoral divisions.
The council asked the State Government to abolish divisions, and Electoral Commission Queensland is now examining the proposal.
Members of the commission held public meetings in Bundaberg and invited submissions.
A spokesman for the Electoral Commission Queensland, which is acting as the Change Commission, said it received comments from more than 700 individuals in the form of submissions from individuals, organisations and petition signatures.
He said a decision would be made within two weeks.
Isis District Residents and Ratepayers Association president John van Barneveld said the council would lose the benefit of local knowledge when it came to decisions regarding zoning, roads and community issues.
“The point is we won’t have a local person we can talk to and see in the street,” he said.
“It would also act as an extra layer of bureaucracy for people in council to deal with requests.”
Gin Gin resident George Ablett felt so strongly about the issue he spent three days getting signatures on a submission against the proposal and collected 660 in the area.
Mr Ablett said there was a lot of anger at the proposal in Gin Gin, particularly among local businesspeople.
“People are very bitter about it,” he said.
Gin Gin divisional representative Wayne Honor said he was against abolishing divisions.
“People from places like Gaeta always say they need to have somebody who understands the needs of the community,” he said.
Childers divisional representative Tony Ricciardi said he had made his position clear.
“I supported council’s submission for a review of the voting procedure simply because I believe people have a democratic right to express a view on the issue of divisions,” he said.
“I have addressed both the Isis District Chamber of Commerce and Residents & Ratepayers Association on this matter.
“Council during its surveys on the future of divisions canvassed 500 responses and the community view was far from clear cut.”
John van Barneveld The point is we won’t have a local person we can talk to and see in the street.