De-amal­ga­ma­tion ‘still LNP pol­icy’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER

LNP spokesman for lo­cal gov­ern­ment Howard Hobbs again pledged his party’s sup­port for Dou­glas Shire de-amal­ga­ma­tion be­fore an en­thu­si­as­tic crowd at the Moss­man bowls club on Mon­day night.

Mr Hobbs said the party would in­stall a Bound­aries Com­mis­sioner in the Dou­glas re­gion within 100 days of tak­ing power.

“In Noosa and up here, we know you don’t have to prove any­thing, there’s no need for con­sul­ta­tion,” he said.

Mr Hobbs said the com­mis­sioner would carry out a fi­nan­cial as­sess­ment of the amal­ga­mated coun­cil and as­sess any boundary changes that might be re­quired.

Mr Hobbs sounded con­fi­dent about “un­scram­bling the egg”.

“We might not go back to ex­actly how it was be­fore,” he said.

Mr Hobbs said the ’Free Noosa’ group had em­ployed a con­sul­tant who had de­ter­mined the cost of split­ting the old Noosa Coun­cil area off from the Sun­shine Coast coun­cil at $4 mil­lion.

“That’s some­thing you should look at do­ing here, get­ting ready for the day you get your coun­cil back.”

Mr Hobbs said he looked for­ward to be­ing led by Camp­bell New­man, the Lord Mayor of Bris­bane who last week in­di­cated he wanted to lead the state LNP af­ter the next elec­tion.

“Camp­bell has in­di­cated he would sup­port all our pre­vi­ous com­mit­ments, in­clud­ing those re­lat­ing to de-amal­ga­ma­tion,” Mr Hobbs said.

“I thought we were do­ing pretty well un­der John-Paul (Lang­broek) and Lawrence (Spring­borg), but I think we’ll do even bet­ter un­der Camp­bell.”

“We’re com­ing back and we’re go­ing to get your coun­cil back.”

Mem­ber for Cook Ja­son O’Brien called the LNP’s de-amal­ga­ma­tion pledge “a big con-job”.

“The LNP isn’t be­ing hon­est,” he said.

“Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil has taken some time, but I think it is start­ing to de­liver in Dou­glas.

“We need to fo­cus on other pri­or­i­ties - get­ting the Water­front pro­ject done for one thing.

“Can peo­ple re­ally af­ford a $4 mil­lion rate rise now?”

Spokesman for the Friends of Dou­glas Shire lobby group Robert Hanan said the LNP’s sup­port for de-amal­ga­ma­tion was “very en­cour­ag­ing”.

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