FODS drum up sup­port for de-amal­ga­ma­tion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

FRIENDS of the Dou­glas Shire have se­cured around 1300 sig­na­tures in sup­port of de-amal­ga­ma­tion to meet the first re­quire­ment of the State Gov­ern­ment.

Last Sun­day marked the fifth an­niver­sary of the “Green Shire Sees Red” protest rally against the forced amal­ga­ma­tion of the Dou­glas Shire and Cairns City Coun­cil.

FODS lob­bied hard in the lead-up to the state elec­tions in March and se­cured an agree­ment from the LNP to ap­point a bound­aries com­mis­sioner to de­ter­mine if a dis­af­fected for­mer coun­cil was el­i­gi­ble for de-amal­ga­ma­tion.

Com­mu­ni­ties need to sub- mit a de­tailed cost es­ti­mate and a pe­ti­tion signed by at least 20 per cent of the vot­ing pop­u­la­tion on the elec­toral role and demon­strate an un­der­stand­ing the for­mer shire would have to meet all costs in­volved with dea­mal­ga­ma­tion.

Spokesman Robert Hanan said FODS had met the pe­ti­tion re­quire­ment with 1300 sig­na­tures but was aim­ing for 2000-plus be­fore they are col­lected on Au­gust 20.

Mr Hanan said amal­ga­ma­tion was a failed ex­per­i­ment in the for­mer Dou­glas shire.

“Since the amal­ga­ma­tion in 2008, the res­i­dents of the for­mer Dou­glas shire have seen mas­sive in­creases in rates and other ser­vice costs, our rep­re­sen­ta­tion has been slashed from seven elected coun­cil­lors to one and in an area that has in­creased in size,” he said.

“Our wa­ter sup­ply has gone from be­ing the most pris­tine in the coun­try to an ex­pen­sive, chlo­ri­nated and low-pres­sure sup­ply.”

FODS will need to send its sub­mis­sion to bound­aries com­mis­sioner Colin Meng by Au­gust 29.

Mr Meng will then work with the Queens­land Trea­sury Cor­po­ra­tion to de­ter­mine the ex­act cost of a split if Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter

Gail Shaw, Ju­lia Leu, Michael Gabour, Robert Hanan, Roisin Allen, David Carey, By­ron Kurth and Alan Carle sort through the pe­ti­tions David Crisa­fulli ap­proves anal­y­sis of the ben­e­fits and the sub­mis­sion to pre­pare a costs, fi­nan­cial fore­casts for re­port. the de-amal­ga­mated coun­cil,

The com­mis­sioner’s re­port, rec­om­men­da­tions on re­al­lo­due by Novem­ber 28, will be cat­ing community as­sets and made pub­lic and in­clude an elec­toral ar­range­ments.

If ap­proved, pro­pos­als will go to a ref­er­en­dum.

For more de­tails on where you can sign the pe­ti­tion, visit www.friend­sof­dou­glasshire.org

Plans for de-amal­ga­ma­tion:

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