Mayor says de-amalgamation is dead but Rod presses on

DESPITE the State Government and the Fraser Coast Regional Council ruling it out, a local man is continuing to push for de-amalgamation.

Rod Dudgeon will hold a community meeting at the Hervey Bay Great Hall on Beach Rd from 10am to noon on Sunday.

Mr Dudgeon wants the council to be split into Hervey Bay and Maryborough councils.

"The present amalgamated council has been a disaster from the outset," he said.

"From issues such as the damage and destruction to the Hervey Bay foreshore - to the almost complete neglect of the needs of people in outlying Maryborough districts."

But the council said it was spending more on the towns outlying Maryborough than ever before, outlaying more on infrastructure and maintenance in those towns than it collected from them in rates.

Mayor Gerard O'Connell said councillors were tasked to make decisions that would benefit the entire region - and the de-amalgamation debate was futile.

"I see the best way forward to achieve all of our potential and to provide the quality of life, standard of living and opportunities is to be a regional facility," he said.

"Although people get elected divisionally, the legislation says you have governance for the whole region."

Mr Dudgeon said the public and councillors were invited to speak about any issue for five minutes.

Speaking to the Chronicle last month, Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said the door had shut on amalgamation.

"I am always happy to work with any group to address their concerns and look for ways council can better serve ratepayers but the window for communities seeking to de-amalgamate has closed," he said.

A petition started by Maryborough's Simone McArdle in July lost traction with only 281 signatures.

As of Thursday afternoon, Mr Dudgeon's petition had 17 signatures.

An online Chronicle poll which ran for two weeks at the start of August attracted more than 320 votes with 79% agreeing the council should de-amalgamate.



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