Push for Divi­sion re­moval COUN­CIL­LORS are re­quired to gov­ern for the whole re­gion; so why do all res­i­dents not have a say on ev­ery elected seat? This is the ques­tion Goomeri’s John Cot­ter hopes to ad­dress by propos­ing the re­moval of di­vi­sions ahead of th

Gympie iden­tity says res­i­dents are not get­ting the say they de­serve

The Gympie Times - - FRONT PAGE - SCOTT KOVACEVIC scott.kovacevic@gympi­etimes.com

ity should have own­er­ship of the whole of the coun­cil,” he said.

He said the present sys­tem, in which the re­gion was sliced into eight with one rep­re­sen­ta­tive each, re­stricted the say res­i­dents had on the re­gion’s govern­ment.

And while it did al­low for vot­ers to have a closer re­la­tion­ship with their coun­cil­lor, he said it left them iso­lated from oth­ers.

“We used to see a lot of the coun­cil­lors a lot of the time,” Mr Cot­ter said.

“I would strug­gle to say I’ve got a re­la­tion­ship with more than one or two of them now.”

This was com­pounded by the pos­si­bil­ity of that coun­cil­lor be­ing “rolled 8-1” when vot­ing on an is­sue spe­cific to that area – and hav­ing no say on whether they felt that vote was fair or not, he said.

Mr Cot­ter stressed his re­quest was not an in­dict­ment of the cur­rent coun­cil, but was about giv­ing the re­gion a voice, and he said the coast and western re­gions should not worry about los­ing their voice.

“You won’t get elected with­out sup­port from Tin Can Bay and Rain­bow Beach,” he said, say­ing that while Gympie had 70 per cent of the vote those ar­eas held the “bal­ance of power”.

“Ron Dyne’s elec­tion is a good ex­am­ple of the peo­ple get­ting it right,” he said.

Mr Cot­ter had great faith that given the chance they would, and pointed to Toowoomba’s growth as an ex­am­ple of what Gympie could achieve.

Hav­ing spent 50 years in the pub­lic eye, in­clud­ing as pres­i­dent of AgForce and chair­man of Queens­land’s GasFields Com­mis­sion, he said this was not driven by any agenda to run for of­fice.

Un­di­vi­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tion, he said, was for 2020 and be­yond.

“The chal­lenges are go­ing to be enor­mous.”

Photo: Tom Daunt

BET­TER VOICE: John Cot­ter from Goomeri wants change to coun­cil di­vi­sions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.