Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Questions of Cost, Affordability and the Democratic Right to Decide Have Dominated the Deamalgamation Debate, but as the Former Livingstone Shire Prepares to Vote, Questions Are Being Asked about Who Has a Vision for the Future. Christine McKee Reports

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Questions of Cost, Affordability and the Democratic Right to Decide Have Dominated the Deamalgamation Debate, but as the Former Livingstone Shire Prepares to Vote, Questions Are Being Asked about Who Has a Vision for the Future. Christine McKee Reports

Article excerpt

Gary Kerr

PRESIDENT of Capricorn Coast Business Alliance, Gary Kerr said the organisation still had no official position and needed more information about how deamalgamation would happen and the transition process.

C[pounds sterling]What is the long term vision for the Capricorn Coast for the next 20 years and more importantly, how will the local community regain its ability to determine its own future?C[yen] he asked.

Mr Kerr said it was important to know what a new council would look like.

As local residents grapple to understand the financial implications of the case to deamalgamate, many are asking how it would be an improvement on the current or former council. Mr Kerr said he wanted to know how the future growth of the Capricorn Coast would be supported with broad infrastructure and business development.

C[pounds sterling]There needs to be more information provided other than just what it costs.

C[pounds sterling]We do believe the master plan is totally necessary so the future resourcing of Yeppoon CBD and foreshore revitalisation can be recognised in future budgets.

C[pounds sterling]It was an election commitmentC*just because deamalgamation is on the agenda doesnCOt mean it doesnCOt need to be done,C[yen] he said.

Bill Ludwig

THE push to de-amalgamate is spearheaded by Rockhampton Regional Councillor Bill Ludwig, who said a C[pounds sterling]yesC[yen] vote would mean a new vision for the regionCOs future.

Cr Bill Ludwig said the de-amalgamation vote would be a chance to both right a political wrong, and put the region back on track after a failed experiment with forced amalgamation.

C[pounds sterling]We now have a chance to turn the failed amalgamation experiment around with a new vision for both the Capricorn Coast and our region,C[yen] Cr Ludwig said.

C[pounds sterling]From LivingstoneCOs perspective we will certainly be in a positive financial position with $52.6 million in the bank to advance projects that have been shelved or delayed by RRC.C[yen]

He cited the Cooee Bay Aquatic Centre, further stages of the Emu Park Town Centre revitalisation, Barmaryee Sports Complex, Yeppoon Foreshore, Keppel Sands Caravan Park, and northern tourist road as projects that need to be advanced.

C[pounds sterling]Livingstone will be able to put more resources into our overall rural road network by ensuring our rates are not diverted to prop up RockhamptonCOs aging infrastructure.C[yen]

Cr Ludwig said in a new council, senior bureaucrat and councillor salaries would be reduced and a top-heavy inefficient administration streamlined with savings put back into infrastructure and services.

C[pounds sterling]A CyyesCO vote in March will be the first step in giving ratepayers back control of their councils and their future,C[yen] Cr Ludwig said. …

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