Granite Belt Community Association president Alan and Heather Colyer. Mr Colyer has called on Southern Downs Regional Council to de-amalgamate.
Granite Belt Community Association president Alan and Heather Colyer. Mr Colyer has called on Southern Downs Regional Council to de-amalgamate. Liana Turner

Breaking up with council

A LOCAL group has called for a council de-amalgamation, with members saying they're fed up at the Granite Belt being treated second best.

The Granite Belt Community Association, formed earlier this year, suggests unless there's real change - the region is heading toward a cliff.

"There is great concern as to how we are being locally governed and how poorly we are being treated by the present and past councils since amalgamation," group president Alan Colyer said.

"The loss of services, crippling rates, impost on community groups to hold commercial leases and maintain council owned facilities are but a few of the main issues.

"The Granite Belt is being treated in a way that is purely detrimental to the years and months ahead," Mr Colyer said.

A Local Government Reform Commission report the previous Stanthorpe Shire Council put together strongly opposed amalgamation.

In it, the council details concerns going forward should the councils merge.

Mr Colyer said those concerns had come to fruition.

"The reasons listed in the report were: the detrimental impact on the development of the community, loss of local representation, loss of services which meet the needs of the community, loss of employment opportunities, reduced local government support of local businesses, loss of important community assets, reduced allocation of local government funds towards local projects, loss or downgrading of local services and potential to lose some or all of the local identity and sense of community.

"It is the opinion of the Granite Belt Community Association that the above reasons for not amalgamating have become a reality," Mr Colyer said.

Despite Mr Colyer previously speaking out against de-amalgamation, suggesting it would be too costly an exercise, his stance has altered over the year as things continue to unfold.

"This community will not recover unless de-amalgamation happens," he said.

The group will next hold a meeting on Wednesday, November 8, at the Gremlins Clubhouse, McGlew St Sporting Complex for 7pm.

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