ONE YEAR: James Lister.
ONE YEAR: James Lister. Contributed

A year of Lister

THE Granite Belt community's move to split from the Southern Downs Regional Council is the "greatest positive" of James Lister's first year representing the area in parliament.

It's been 10 years since Warwick and Stanthorpe local councils were merged to create the Southern Downs Regional Council - a move that polarised the community, with the Granite Belt community seeking de-amalgamation ever since.

Mr Lister is careful to not take sides in the debate about de-amalgamation, but he's taken the Granite Belt community's position to Minister for Local Government, Stirling Hinchcliffe.

"His staff and the Department of Local Government have behaved impeccably and have been of great assistance to the Granite Belt community in making the case for de-amalgamation," Mr Lister said.

He said he understood that before the end of the year, the Granite Belt Community Association will submit business and financial cases to the minister.

The number of local councils in Queensland was halved in 2007 under the Beattie Government, which merged 156 shires to create 72.

In 2014 four councils were de-amalgamated - Noosa, Livingstone, Douglas and Mareeba.

As with these de -amalgamations, Stanthorpe would need to hold a referendum to allow residents in the former Stanthorpe LGA on whether re-establish the Stanthorpe Shire Council, but the SDRC first needs to vote in favour.

"If the Government feels this case is sustainable and realistic, it'll go to Southern Downs Regional Council for a vote on whether to de-amalgamate," he said.

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