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Split process launched

FLASHBACK: Current councillor Vic Pennisi, former Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg, Trevor Cooper, John Boucher and Steve McEvoy front and centre in the push against Stanthorpe's amalgamation in 2007.
FLASHBACK: Current councillor Vic Pennisi, former Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg, Trevor Cooper, John Boucher and Steve McEvoy front and centre in the push against Stanthorpe's amalgamation in 2007. File

THEY say absence makes the heart grow fonder - one local group and its members would attest to that.

As the 10-year anniversary of amalgamation approaches, there's a growing push within the community to abandon it and go back to the "good old days”.

The Granite Belt Community Association has been investigating the possibility of de-amalgamation, speaking to politicians and government officials, solicitors and consultants.

They say all have confirmed that the de-amalgamation of Southern Downs Regional Council is possible.

"There has been a lot of comment that de-amalgamation is not possible and that boat has sailed,” association president, Rev Alan Colyer said.

"This is not true and we have been advised that the first step to achieve de-amalgamation is to prove public support.”

"Firstly, we will be putting together a petition for all who support de-amalgamation to sign.

"We aim for the petition to be ready by the end of this month and will be accessible online and in various businesses in the main street.

"Secondly, there will be a public rally to further explain steps for de-amalgamation on Sunday, April 29 at 3pm at the McGlew Street Sporting Complex,” he said.

"We believe that the benefits of de-amalgamation will outweigh the costs.”

Petitions and surveys were conducted in the lead up to amalgamation in 2007.

One petition attracted 3240 signatures opposing amalgamation and a telephone survey conducted in Stanthorpe found 88 per cent of residents were against the change.

Association vice-president John Hendry suggests they'll need greater numbers than that to be heard.

"We believe that the time has come for the community to turn up or put up. If you are happy with how things are in Stanthorpe, that's fine,” he said.

"However, if you aren't, then please, take one hour out of your life and attend the public rally.”

Stanthorpe Border Post

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