15th January 2008With only eight weeks to Queensland’s contentious local government elections, there are moves afoot to stage a Democratic Rights Day, thereby highlighting further public unrest over issues like forced amalgamations.
The over-arching umbrella group for the planned Democratic Rights Day, Australian Business and People’s Alliance Council, says it is anticipating some 20,000 people will flock to its as yet unnamed venue.
It says it will be co-ordinating activities by all interested groups and associations throughout Queensland to gain the strongest possible impact for its January 28 Democratic Rights Day event.
Campaign organiser Bryan Best says the Brisbane rally will, it is hoped, draw strong support with far-flung rural communities unable to make long trips to the venue expected to show that they are disgruntled, locally.
“Enough is enough, we need to be taken notice of,” Mr Best said.
Mr Best wants people to sign a petition encouraging politicians to show where they stand in the lead up to the March 15 local government elections.
Clifton-based resident Chris Barton, on the Darling downs, who is the chair of the Clifton Shire Community Group Against Forced Amalgamation, already has been orchestrating a letter-writing campaign designed to put pressure on the Queensland Government as it presses ahead with plans to reform local authorities.
Previously, he wrote to a swag of high-profile political identities – both federal and state – to try to win over their support.
He also issued an invitation to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to address the Brisbane meeting.
This week he sent a letter to the Crime and Misconduct Commission, claiming the State Government has “defrauded the people” by ignoring the wishes of the majority of local government residents who remain opposed to slicing the number of shires down from 176 to 72.
“People across the state are just not going to lie down over the issue,” Mr Barton said.
“They (State Government) were elected on promises as to what they would do, not on what they didn’t promise to do,” he added.
SOURCE: Queensland Country Life