Rockyview residents weigh in on a possible boundary change
GAZING at Rockhampton in the distance from his elevated Rockyview property, John Cummings can see the sense in Rockhampton Regional Council looking after his suburb.
Since the de-amalgamation of Rockhampton Regional and Livingstone Shire Councils in 2014, 1170 properties in the suburbs of Rockyview, Glenlee and Glendale have belonged in the jurisdiction of Livingstone, despite impracticalities created by this arrangement.
"We're not really part of the coast, we're inland," Mr Cummings said.
"If you look at the distance ratio, we're only 12 km from the (Rockhampton) CBD and you've got 35km to the Yeppoon CBD, obviously Rocky is closer so it would make sense to have us under the Rocky Council.
"Because even when it comes to voting or anything like that, we've got to go down to the Yeppoon offices.
Mr Cummings said his Livingstone Shire waste vouchers, which came with his rates notice, were useless as he refused to take his garden waste to Yeppoon's dump, opting instead to go to Rockhampton's or The Caves' landfills.
Another Rockyview resident (who didn't wished to be named) described how despite the boundary swinging from Livingstone to Rockhampton in the 2008 amalgamation and back in 2014, he felt that both councils had neglected the suburb.
Despite this, he planned to vote to join Rockhampton if there was a future referendum, to ensure his gripes with voting locations and waste disposal were addressed.
After nine years living in Rockyview, Lisa Rudolph was opposed to the idea of another boundary change for the suburb, saying she would probably vote against the proposal.
"We're quite happy being in Livingstone, it hasn't been a problem for us," Ms Rudolph said.
"We still vote down here at Parkhurst, it hasn't been a problem at all, I think there's only been one voting when we've had to go to Yeppoon but we don't mind anyway.
"(Waste disposal) hasn't been a problem, they come out and collect our rubbish every week and our green waste stays here because we've got a big property."
This boundary situation could change depending on the outcome of Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe's referral of the proposed boundary change to the independent body known as the Local Government Change Commission.
According to Mr Hinchliffe, the Change Commission would take an unspecified length of time to consult with councils and affected communities to gauge the level of support and financial sustainability of both councils before making a recommendation.
"I'm pleased that I've been able to work closely with both the mayors of both Livingstone Shire and Rockhampton Region to be able to get an agreement to refer this matter," Mr Hinchliffe said.
"We would want to see a referendum of (residents') views about the matter to provide the final say on the transfer."
He said urban developments like the housing estates in Rockyview, Glendale and Glenlee were developed between 2008 and 2014 when the council was amalgamated.
After the 2014 de-amalgamation, he said the boundaries shifted back to pre-2008 lines, affecting the organisation of services and infrastructure, which were geared towards utilising RRC's infrastructure.
Mr Hinchliffe said there was a precedent for the inclusion of the three suburbs into the RRC's fold, given that Parkhurst transferred from LSC to RRC in 1985.