DE-AMALG: Disconnect between regions 'never more obvious'
THE organisation behind a passionate bid to undo the Southern Downs 2008 amalgamation has defended its proposal, saying a review by Southern Downs Regional Council staff did "not change the overall robust conclusions” put forward in the case.
The Granite Belt Community Association has stuck by its guns despite criticism raised in a review that was published by SDRC late last week.
Council officers who assessed the document stated there were problems with the argument for de-amalgamation.
They related to assertions about financial sustainability, applicability of grants and funding, capital expenditure assumptions and organisational structure.
Tabled at a council meeting yesterday, the review will be passed on to the minister for local government, Stirling Hinchliffe.
The GBCA has remained optimistic, despite facing criticism for unsubstantiated claims made in the proposal.
"The disconnect between the two communities could hardly be more clearly demonstrated than by comments in the officers' review,” GBCA president Alan Colyer said.
"For instance, with knowledge of the Granite Belt, why would anyone attempt to deny the importance of its rich Italian heritage and culture or of its tourism industry?”
Southern Downs councillors have called for the community to stay informed as the "emotional” debate continues.
"I have found very few people who have read the proposal or the review and our community does need to be informed,” Mayor Tracy Dobie said.