De-merger report available to all
THE much talked about A New Granite Belt Council report is now available for all of the public to view.
As the Granite Belt Community Association had previously stated, the report was intended to go out to the public once Minister for Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe had time to digest it himself.
The GBCA has now released it via their website.
Former Member for Southern Downs James Lister Lawrence Springborg, who was drafted in to chair the De-amalgamation Project Steering Committee, said the report was a "fine example of community determination”.
"It is now up to the Minister for Local Government, the council and the community to decide the next steps,” Mr Springborg said.
"This report is a fine example of community determination, perseverance, cooperation and respect.
"I encourage that cooperation and respect to continue, as it is critical to concluding a proper consideration of this report and its outcomes.”
Mr Springborg thanked Southern Downs Regional Council for providing the necessary information to compile the report.
"They have provided virtually all the information sought in a timely and open way.”
SDRC mayor Tracy Dobie last Friday issued a media release where she called for the report to be released as a matter of transparency.
With the report now released, the Border Post went to the mayor for comment on the report, but Cr Dobie declined to comment.
"Southern Downs Regional Council will not be providing a comment on the Granite Belt Community Association Proposal until the analysis of the submission is complete.”
The report, based on the advice and analysis of highly respected local government expert and consultant David Spearritt, concludes that it is feasible to recreate two viable and functioning councils.
Mr Spearritt's findings point to a one-off worst case scenario cost of $4million to de-amalgamate.
"David's view is those costs are likely to be much lower... he estimates the actual costs will be closer to $1million,” Professor Tim Coelli said.
Local business owner Michael Jensen has encouraged the public to take the time to view it.
"To say that I am impressed with the final report on de-amalgamation, would be a huge understatement,” he said.
"If you get a chance spend an hour or so reading this comprehensive assessment. Let's hope the Minister is suitably impressed and allows it to be reviewed by the Change Commissioner and when satisfied the council agree to allow the process to continue to once again take control of our beautiful community.”
To view the report visit granitebeltcommunity.com