Minister stuffs up on local government laws

5th September 2007Local Government Minister Andrew Fraser is continuing to stuff up on new
laws forcing Queensland councils to amalgamate, with the Queensland
Coalition accusing the Minister of introducing an invalid regulation
into the State Parliament.

Shadow Local Government Minister Howard Hobbs said the Beattie Labor
Government’s forced council amalgamations plans had been rushed through
and mistake after mistake was occurring as a result.

“The Beattie Labor Government has been determined to bulldoze through
their plans and have done everything possible to stop communities having
a say on the future of their local councils,” he said.

“The incompetent Minister initially introduced hastily drafted laws that
would allow him to sack and fine councillors who held referendums or
polls on amalgamations, laws which are now being challenged in the

“While the Government has since backed down and introduced amendments to
remove the sacking threats, those laws are still yet to be debated and
there is no indication the laws will be passed this week. This
effectively means the threats of sackings and fines are still part of
the Local Government Act and could remain so until October.

“Now this week we’ve got a regulation, again hastily drafted, which we
believe is invalid. The Coalition believes the only way to effectively
resolve this issue and remove the threat hanging over the head of
councillors is to pass the legislation as soon as possible, not through
a dodgy regulation.”

Mr Hobbs, who has moved to disallow the invalid regulation, said the
Queensland Coalition remained steadfastly opposed to the Beattie Labor
Government’s plans to force councils to amalgamate irrespective of what
their community wants.

“Amalgamations may be right for some communities, and not right for
others, but at the end of the day, the decisions of local communities
should be accepted not overridden by a dictatorial State Government,” he

Media Contact – Howard Hobbs 46 22 88 88