Aust Party wants de-amalgamation

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Aust Party wants de-amalgamation

Australian Party candidate, Lachlan Bensted, has solidified his party’s commitment to de-amalgamating the former Douglas Shire from Cairns Regional Council should he be elected to the seat of Cook this weekend.


It backs up the comments of his Australian Party leader, Bob Katter, this week, agreeing to facilitate the de-amalgamation of councils where there is majority community request.


Mr Bensted said should he be elected after this Saturday’s State election, a referendum would be held within 90 days on the de-amalgamation matter.  “At the end of the day, the decision must come back to the people,” he said.


“But a key note of difference between the Australian Party’s commitment and the LNP’s commitment to de-amalgamation is in reference to boundaries.


“The LNP want to de-amalgamate with the recommendations of the Boundary Commission, where we could potentially lose towns with boundaries being moved.


“However, we feel no need for that – the old maps, the old Shire boundaries and infrastructure are still in place.


“And we feel the whole cost of de-amalgamation should be born by the State Government, not the ratepayers.


“Amalgamation was forced on ratepayers – at the end of the day, the decision to de-amalgamate must come back to the people.”


Bob Katter also threw his weight behind his party’s policy.   “Stealing local council’s water infrastructure, forcing amalgamations, removing powers, taxing the hell out of them for waste levies - I suppose you could kick local communities harder, but I don’t know how,” Mr Katter said.


“This is just wrong, it’s got to stop. It’s got to be put right.”


Missed a story? Check out our extensive News Archive.

Want more ways to stay in touch? Follow us on our Facebook page.