Federal Labor caught on barbed wire fence over Beattie amalgamations

14th August 2007Federal Labor has refused to condemn Queensland’s forced council mergers, despite its leader’s stated opposition to them, according to the Nationals’ Leader of the Senate, Ron Boswell.

The following notice of motion, was moved by Senator Boswell in the Senate yesterday.

He noted that the Senate:

• Condemns the dictatorial actions of the Beattie Queensland government in imposing forced amalgamations on Queensland local government without opportunity for appeal

• Expresses serious concern at the Queensland government’s decision to impose fines on councillors who put the amalgamation policy to local citizens by referendum

• Notes that the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights states that ‘every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity to take part in the conduct of public affairs’ and that this right is being undermined by the Queensland state government and

• Calls on the Beattie government to make any amalgamations voluntary, as recommended by the federal Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd.

Labor opposed this motion, despite moving last week in the Senate by noting:

• The stated opposition of Federal Labor leader Mr Kevin Rudd to forced local government amalgamations in Queensland,

• Mr Rudd’s stated view is that increased cooperation, including common purchase practices, can achieve improved efficiencies at a local government level and

• Mr Rudd’s stated support on May 17 for “local ballots ahead of any proposed non-voluntary local government amalgamation…”

Senator Boswell said, “Labor in Queensland is either opposed to forced amalgamations or it supports them.

“It can’t do both.”

SOURCE: Breaking news from Queensland County Life weekly newspaper, updated daily on FarmOnline.