Legal challenge to Beatties forced amalgamation laws

10th August 2007The Queensland Coalition has vowed to fight on and is undertaking a
legal challenge against Peter Beattie’s undemocratic laws to force
council amalgamations.

Queensland Coalition Leader Jeff Seeney said he had legal opinion the
Coalition had reasonable grounds to challenge Labor’s Local Government
Reform Legislation Bill 2007 – passed in State Parliament early this
morning after 14 hours debate.

“This fight is about democracy. It’s about giving ordinary Queenslanders
their right to decide,” Mr Seeney said.
“Right from the beginning of this process, Labor has completely ignored
the people’s voice.  People have a right to have a say on the future of
their communities.

“Last night in Parliament the Coalition argued long and hard against
Labor’s attack on democracy. We won the debate, but the Bill was passed
simply through Labor’s overwhelming majority and because Labor Members,
followed Peter Beattie like lemmings.

“Not one Labor Member had the compassion, the guts, the sense of a fair
go …to stand up for small town, regional Queenslanders.

“Last night will be remembered as the darkest night for democracy in
Queensland …when Peter Beattie and his Members smashed their way
through our democracy and told regional Queensland communities they
count for nothing.”

Mr Seeney said Labor had seriously misjudged the level of anger in the
community and renewed his call for councils to ignore Peter Beattie’s
threat to sack any council which dared give their residents their right
to have a say.

Mr Seeney noted that while last night’s challenge in the courts by Noosa
residents was based on the Constitutional validity of Labor’s new laws,
the Coalition’s challenge would be based on the decision-making process
of the Minister to force councils to amalgamate.

Media Contact – Jeff Popp 0438 153 857