FODS drum up support for de-amalgamation
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: