Council amalgamation ballots posted this week

19th November 2007About 700,000 Queenslanders in 85 councils affected by the Bligh Labor
Government’s forced council amalgamations will finally have a chance to
have their say this week by voting in local plebiscites.

Shadow Local Government Minister Howard Hobbs said the Australian
Electoral Commission will start posting out plebiscite ballot papers
this week asking ratepayers if they supported the Queensland
Government’s decision to amalgamate their council with other councils.

“About 700,000 people in 85 councils from the Torres Strait down to
Stanthorpe, and from urban areas like Caboolture, Pine Rivers and
Redcliffe through to outback communities like Tambo and Blackall, will
get the chance to have the say they were denied by a dictatorial State
Labor Government,” he said.

Mr Hobbs urged residents to vote no to send a strong message they
wouldn’t tolerate Labor’s planĀ  to forced councils to amalgamate without
meaningful consultation and input from affected communities.

“By voting no in the plebiscite, residents are voting against the
inevitable rate rises, loss of local council financial reserves,
increases in the charges to use of community facilities, loss of council
subsidies for recreational grounds, loss of community services and arts
funding opportunities,” he said.

“There’s no professional, academic, economic or social studies or data
to support the State Government’s actions to force councils to
amalgamate – it’s a political decision that has been taken and it is a
political solution that will stop the State Labor Government.”

The ballot closing dates will be 7 December for urban councils and 14
December for all other councils with results to be released as they are
finalised.

Media Contact – Howard Hobbs Ph 4622 8888

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