QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman has jumped the first hurdle in his commitment to the Douglas region to investigate the viability of de-amalgamation with his appointment of a Boundaries Commissioner within his first 100 days in office.
The Premier’s announcement last Friday that former Mackay Regional Council mayor Colin Meng would take up the role of Boundaries Commissioner is a positive gesture.
The State Government has set the bar reasonably high for communities to convince the commissioner of their suitability for de-amalgamation.
Part of the criteria is a detailed cost estimate of de-amalgamation.
The Friends of the Douglas Shire have gone a long way to fulfilling this requirement already.
But the commissioner also requires the signatures of at least 20 per cent of the voting population from the region.
While this may sound simple due to the disenchantment of many people with the Cairns Regional Council, it is a lot of signatures which need to be gathered in the next two months.
Local Government Minister David Crisafulli has been blunt he is looking for substance over sentiment in the de-amalgamation debate.
For our local community, it is time to start thinking about what shape you want your local government to take and why in the coming weeks as the opportunity is only likely to come once.