Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has told Southern Downs Regional Council to review the de-amalgamation report - but not to seek external assessment.
Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has told Southern Downs Regional Council to review the de-amalgamation report - but not to seek external assessment. Cordell Richardson

No outside help warranted says Minister

LOCAL Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has advised Southern Downs Regional Council to conduct an analysis of de-amalgamation.

However Mr Hinchliffe has told the council to undertake the review internally, without having to fork out ratepayer dollars.

"The minister has said that Southern Downs Regional Council will have to undertake its own analysis of the de-amalgamation proposal," a spokesperson from Mr Hinchliffe's office said.

"He has not instructed council to hire anyone externally to carry out this analysis.

"Councils across Queensland have to undertake analysis on all sorts of matters and it's part of their everyday job."

In December, the Granite Belt Community Association's report, A New Granite Belt Council, was submitted to SDRC and MrHinchliffe.

Council senior officers and relevant staff will review the business case seeking feedback from Queensland Government departments before final recommendations are outlined in a report to the council's general meeting in February.

Despite the minister's advice, Mayor Tracy Dobie said consultants might be required to undertake a peer review of council officers' assessment of GBCA's submission.

"Engaging an independent assessor of council's review of the report ensures the work of council staff is substantiated," she said.

Deputy Mayor Jo McNally said it was important the business case was reviewed and councillors were well informed.

"I want to make sure every box is ticked, there has been no bias in the process and all the facts have been checked," Cr McNally said.

"We need to make sure we get it right the first time."

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