Magnetic Island North Queensland
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May 18th 2007
Amalgamation: for or against?

Townsville Mayor Tony Mooney has written to ratepayers seeking their comments on the likely forced amalgamation of Townsville (of which Magnetic Island is a suburb) and Thuringowa.

While for many years locals have been incredulous that the conurbation that is Townsville/Thuringowa is, in fact, two cities and not one, the Mayor is seeking submissions to the Local Government Reform Commission so that you can have your say.

Mayor Mooney's letter states, "Local residents tell me we only need one Council to run Townsville and Thuringowa, but the issues are difficult and complex. Thuringowa City Council is strongly against an amalgamation. The results of forced amalgamations on the Gold Coast and elsewhere are very mixed...higher cost, disruption of services and loss of representation at the local level."

So, to make it more specifically about Magnetic Island - which we hear some readers would like to see have its own independent council (a very unlikely scenario), do you believe Magnetic Island would be better served by a larger amalgamated council or would we better off staying with TCC?

Please use the comments box below and share your opinion. We are also running a poll in the lower right column so you can vote on it too.

For those who wish to send their comments to the Local Government Reform Association, submissions close at 5pm Friday 25 May, 2007. You can email them via LGRC@qld.gov.au

To make a comment see below






















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Amalgamation: for or against?
 
5 comments
 
Harvey
May 18th 2007
Well! All I can say is NOBODY could possibly hate us as much as Mayor Mooney does. His attitude to the Island and us Islanders has been clearly demonstrated on many, many issues over the past dozen or so years.
 
chasmac
May 21st 2007
A little known fact is that Magnetic Island was, for many years in the early 20th century, administered as part of the Shire of Thuringowa. That ended about 1918 when a lot of boundaries were changed.
 
chasmac
May 22nd 2007
Amalgamating Townsville and Thuringowa would involve a number of interesting developments that are not connected to the sharing of infrastructure, services and those other issues raised by Tony Mooney.
The two local governments have different electoral processes because Townsville has ten divisions each with one councillor while Thuringowa has (I think) three divisions with numerous councillors elected in each. If there was an amalgamation and if the Townsville system was adopted for the whole region then there would need to be a complete re-drawing of divisional boundaries and (possibly) a reconsideration of the number of councillors for the enlarged and more diversified area.
It is not necessarily the case that there would need to be many more councillors - Brisbane is the largest local government region in the world but still only has a handful (or two) of councillors.
So it is very difficult to know what effect amalgamation would have on service delivery or infrastructure questions without knowing what might happen with the representative structure of the merged body. I think it might be a good thing and would like to know more about the parameters for amalgamation before I took a position.
 
David J
May 29th 2007
I am yet to receive said letter from the Mayor on this issue, however it would be appreciated if someone could enlighten the reader as to the sequence of events which has led to the canvassing of the idea? As an island ratepayer, one of the most important issues is, if almagation proceeds, will rates go down while delivering the same level of service? If not, then it's a no brainer! Should a reply be received with the customary political spin that there are many other benefits mixed in with cost, then I suggest they pay for it. Island rates are already the highest I have ever experienced in home ownership. The fact they are based upon how many toilets you have is farcical. It neither reflects total resource usage or rewards efficiency. In any reform submission, a change in the island method of calculating rate contributions and spreading what are in essence 'environmental costs' over all who use it would be a most welcome contribution.

Regards David J
 
saly-ann angus
June 6th 2007
hi i am a Fellow student from winton QLD and i would just like to say that why would you do this amalagamteion to us people in these little towns we are fine just being one council we dont need to and we can struggle on our own.


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