Peak Downs residents call for de-amalgamation

RESIDENTS from the former Peak Downs Shire say there is "no money in the bucket" for their area in a petition calling for de-amalgamation.

It was one of two petitions tabled in Queensland Parliament on Tuesday to de-amalgamate councils - with Maryborough residents seeking to split from Hervey Bay.

Gregory MP Lachlan Millar handed over the Peak Downs petition with 805 signatures on behalf of Enid Bailey from Capella.

The petition asks the government to revert to the original boundaries, arguing the Central Highlands Regional Council is unable to provide the services, funding and representation for the area.

"Our streets and roads are neglected and we are told that there is no money in the bucket for our area of the shire," it reads.

"The only improvements in the old Peak Downs Shire area since amalgamation are those that were planned by the previous Peak Downs Shire Council.

"We feel that the small number of councillors on Central Highlands Regional Council are too few to be able to adequately serve the amalgamated shires and the ratepayers.

"Consequently, the ratepayers of the previous Peak Downs Shire Council area now find that assets built up by our previous council are for sale."

Central Highlands Regional Council mayor Peter Maguire said splitting from the council now would be a waste of people's time and effort.

"Too many things have changed now to go reversing," he said.

"It shouldn't be only those people who get a say if people want to go pulling things apart and that's going to cost millions of dollars."

The de-amalgamation feud has been ongoing, and Capella resident Joe Bridgeman has been in the thick of it since the beginning.

"Amalgamation really flattened our little town," he said.

"We feel the first thing to go was the pride in our town, it devastated our little community."

The Labor Government, responsible for the amalgamation in 2008 as part of wide local government reforms, will now review the submission and respond to the Clerk of Parliament within 30 days.


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