De-amalgamation ‘still LNP policy’
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”.