Qld has spoken – forced council mergers a disaster

19th December 2007The overwhelming results of plebiscites on forced council amalgamations in Queensland have made it absolutely clear that the State Government has gone down the wrong path, says federal Nationals leader, Warren Truss.

Mr Truss, a Queenslander himself and federal Shadow Local Government Minister, says the Qld Premier, Anna Bligh, has no choice but “write off this crude experiment”.

“If Kevin Rudd really does not support forced council amalgamations, as he stated before the election, he must convince Anna Bligh at COAG that her plan is dictatorial and wrong,” Mr Truss says.

“Of the 85 plebiscites held in shire council areas across Queensland, 81 voted against amalgamations.

“In many cases the no vote was extremely heavy, with as little as half of 1pc supporting the yes case.

“In the Ilfracombe Shire Council, there was only a solitary yes vote, against 143 no votes.

“In more populated areas, such as the Gold Coast, the no vote almost quadrupled the yes vote.

“Results of plebiscites declared today by the Australian Electoral Commission demonstrate overwhelming community opposition to forced amalgamations.

“In many areas, a very large proportion of people took the opportunity to vote even though voting was voluntary, which shows just how heated this issue is,” Mr Truss says.