ISIS DE-AMALGAMATION BID FAILS

The bid to de-amalgamate the former Isis Shire Council region from Bundaberg Regional Council has failed with complimentary reports being handed down today by both the Queensland Boundary Commissioner and the Queensland Treasury Corporation.

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli has issued the following Media Statement which explains the outcome of the respective investigations which found that the proposed new entity would be financially distressed from day one.

————————————————-

Minister for Local Government        
The Honourable David Crisafulli   

Thursday, December 06, 2012

De-amalgamation too costly for Isis

Expert analysis of the former Isis Shire Council’s bid to split from Bundaberg Regional Council (BRC) has shown Isis would be financially distressed from day one. 

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said the same financial disciplines that had been applied to the other four areas that wanted to de-amalgamate clearly highlighted Isis Shire Council would not be viable and therefore would not proceed to a vote.

“While there’s no doubting the community’s passion, a reinstated council would be financially distressed from day one,” he said.

“We have given communities every chance to have a say, including areas that would have increased costs and obvious challenges.

“But in the case of Isis, the costs would be so severe and the council so distressed I can’t recommend a poll.

“This is not a reflection on those who put in the bid, or the council, but the reality is that five years after amalgamation the costs for such a small council was always going to be a challenge.”

For Isis, Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) found the cost to de-amalgamate would be $6,791,000 or an extra $1,054 per ratepayer in the first year.

There would also be ongoing costs of an extra $569 per ratepayer in the second year, rising every year thereafter.

Boundaries Commissioner Col Meng and QTC have spent the past two months working with proponents, stakeholders and BRC to work out all of the costs involved.

The Commissioner’s report included:

·         wages for a Mayor and Councillors

·         wages for council staff

·         cost of equipment and IT

·         cost of de-amalgamation to the remaining council

·         cost of conducting a referendum
·         ongoing costs, such as annual licencing fees and insurance

Mr Crisafulli said he understood the community would be disappointed but he was determined to get some good from this.

One of Mr Meng’s recommendations is for the existing BRC to move to an undivided basis at the 2016 elections to foster regional over divisional decision making; and greater emphasis on land-use planning, rates and charges, and tourism. 

“We have closely examined each proposal and know better than before what needs to be done to achieve a more representative, unified council area,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“I’ll be working closely with the proponents, the local member, and BRC to bring this about.”

The Queensland Boundaries Commissioner reports on each area are at Boundaries reports ( http://www.dlg.qld.gov.au/bc/ ) or http://www.dlg.qld.gov.au/bc/ ( http://www.dlg.qld.gov.au/bc/ ).

[ENDS] 6 December, 2012

Media Contact:

Andrew Longmire 0418 216 627

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