Alan Colyer and Stirling Hinchliffe.
Alan Colyer and Stirling Hinchliffe. Contributed

De-amalgamation case in minister's hands

THE future of the Granite Belt, and in turn the Southern Downs, is now in the hands of Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.

Minister Hinchliffe met a Granite Belt delegation earlier today, where members of the Granite Belt Community Association, advisors and consultants handed over the completed business case for a proposed de-amalgamation.

President of the GBCA Alan Colyer was at Parliament House to personally hand over the report and said it was a huge day for the future of the region.

"We met with the minister this afternoon (Monday). He received our report with much thanks and the report itself he was very impressed with," Rev Colyer said.

"He will now decide whether it goes to the (Local Government) Change Commission or not.

"We emphasised the fact that we felt the report was fairly compelling, but it really is in his court now what he does with it.

"I can't say what he's going to do because he hasn't decided - but I'm confident enough he will move forward to the next stage.

"He's very appreciative of what we've done. What we've done all along is follow his advice and he's leading and he knows that.

"Lawrence Springborg was also involved in the conversation from New Zealand, where he's on holidays at the moment."

GBCA's Amanda Harrold, professors Tim Coelli and Mike Hefferan and consultant David Spearritt also joined Rev Colyer and the minister.

"We were very warmly received and that was the best part."

The group will now meet with Southern Downs Regional Council to discuss the report.

The report and all the findings will be presented to the community at a rally tomorrow night from 7pm at the Stanthorpe Showgrounds.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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