Tiaro Chamber unhappy about electoral boundary changes
TIARO, Bauple, and other towns located in Fraser Coast Regional Council's southern reaches could become part of Gympie, and some residents aren't happy.
The Queensland Redistribution Commission was created to redistribute the state into 93 electoral districts, up from the existing 89, and new maps were released last month.
Under the proposed changes, Maryborough's southern border will be located at Wilsons Rd, Tiaro, which will mean Gundiah, Gootchie, Gunalda and Glenwood all shift to Tony Perrett's Gympie electorate.
Tiaro and District Chamber of Commerce president Darryl Stewart blasted the change.
"There's absolutely no community of interest between the towns of Tiaro and Bauple with Gympie whatsoever," he said.
"Everyone does shopping in Maryborough or Hervey Bay. There's no community of interest and it doesn't make any sense."
Communities of interests and distance are the heart of Mr Stewart's disapproval of the proposal.
"Tiaro is 30km from Maryborough, and 60km from Gympie. There's nothing that ties the two together, but Bauple is exactly the same," Mr Stewart said.
"Commerce-wise, there's no connection whatsoever south of us to Gympie compared to what the trend is to the north to Maryborough and Hervey Bay."
Mr Perrett became Gympie MP in 2015, and served as a Kilkivan Shire councillor and Gympie Regional Council deputy mayor for more than a decade before his shift to state politics.
He admitted the split community of interest was a challenge, but said, should the commission's changes be accepted, he would happily work with residents and Fraser Coast Regional Council.
"I'll look to use methods I currently use in Gympie," he said.
"The bulk of my office is in Gympie but I conduct mobile offices in Imbil and Rainbow Beach at the moment.
"If (Tiaro and Bauple) become part of my electorate I'd certainly make the effort. I've had contact with several groups so that is encouraging."
Division 2 councillor Anne Maddern understood Mr Stewart's concerns, but said the addition of a third state electorate to the council area would not be a concern.
"I'd understand Tiaro wouldn't be too happy, but by the same token you have Burrum Heads which is part of Maryborough," she said.
"I don't see (the addition of Gympie) as being a problem.
"I worked well with Tony Perrett while he was deputy mayor of Gympie. All state members do work hard to connect with their residents and I'd be happy to work with him."
The most important thing, Mr Perrett noted, was that people who felt strongly about the change responded directly to the Queensland Redistribution Commission.
Submisisons must be made by March 27, 2017. Go to boundaries.ecq.qld.gov.au/have-your-say/make-a-submission to make your submission.