Gang gone, but the memory remains
Wednesday 9 January 2013
As residents of the former Douglas Shire enter a year in which the future of the region will be determined at a referendum on de-amalgamation, one crucial question remains unanswered.
While pro-deamalgamation lobby group Friends Of Douglas Shire (FODS) has recommended a five member council consisting of a mayor and four councillors, who will fill those councillor positions on a re-formed Douglas Shire Council (DSC) won't be known until an election is held - if, of course, the de-amalgamation bid is successful.
Current Cairns Regional Council Division 10 councillor Julia Leu has been touted as a leading contender for Mayor. However, some within the community have expressed a desire for FODS to put forward a list of candidates who they would like to see fill the inaugural councillor positions to assist residents in their decision making come referendum polling day.
It is widely accepted that the final years of the DSC were highly dysfunctional, and a return to that situation remains a concern for some.
However, Councillors on a re-formed DSC would not represent a particular division within the Shire - one of the issues that reportedly gave rise to the infamous 'Gang of Four' - a group of four councillors who controlled the DSC's agenda.
Since the Minister for Local Government David Crisafulli announced his decision last month to allow the Douglas referendum (to be held on Saturday 9 March), FODS' focus has been on disputing Queensland Treasury figures that show de-amalgamation would cost ratepayers $700 in the first year alone.
FODS will meet today to discuss the findings of a commissioned report into the figures used in the Queensland Treasury analysis. We'll bring you details as they come to hand.
Who would you like to see on a re-formed Douglas Shire Council? Tell us below
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Optimistic, but challenges ahead for FODS
Figures flawed says FODS