Council sacking threat to be struck from law

22nd August 2007Queensland Coalition pressure in State Parliament has forced Premier
Beattie to strike out laws which made it illegal for councils to hold
referendums to determine their local community’s views on forced council

During Question Time yesterday, State Coalition Leader Jeff Seeney asked
the Premier to remove the laws making it illegal for councils to conduct
amalgamation polls following his weekend admission he had “stuffed up”
and would not enforce the laws.

In his answer yesterday, the Premier refused and claimed that part of
the legislation “will fall off the statute books .. by itself by March
next year”.

However, Mr Beattie today admitted he had misled Parliament and would
now remove the legal provisions which allow councils to be sacked for
conducting polls.

Mr Seeney said the Premier’s back down was another win for “people
power” and showed how much Labor was bleeding politically over the
disastrous way it had handled council amalgamations.

“Peter Beattie’s forced council amalgamations have generated widespread
anger with Queenslanders from city to country appalled at the Premier’s
dictatorial actions and attitude,” he said.

“It seems it has finally dawned on Mr Beattie that he went way over the
top with his attempts to shut people up, and I encourage all the
communities across Queensland who are affected by the forced mergers to
continue the protests and continue the referendums.

“Peter Beattie has backed down on divisions in the new councils and he
has backed down on his threats to sack councils who hold referendums. He
needs to keep backing down to ensure communities get a genuine say in
how their local councils are structured into the future.”

Media Contact – Jeff Popp 0438 153 857