LGAQ: Councils want answers

By Rob O’Brien

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is demanding answers as to why a deadline of March has not been met to address council concerns about amalgamations.

LGAQ president Paul Bell said the State Government had had ample time to address the financial concerns facing recently amalgamated councils.

"In April 2008, shortly after the amalgamations, Premier Anna Bligh invited the councils to make submissions for additional financial assistance,” Bell said.

“The deadline was March this year. It is now six months after that deadline and many councils are asking when the government is going to provide answers.

"There has been enough time to assess the applications. Councils and their communities deserve answers," he said.

According to Bell, the cost of council amalgamations across the state could reach $200 million, more than the $27 million provided by the State Government to implement the changes.

“New information technology and communication systems required and salary and wages equalisation are just some of the factors created solely by the amalgamations,” Bell said.

“They are unavoidable and place permanent ongoing constraints on council budgets. The savings from the amalgamations are minimal and will be a decade or more before they are fully realised.


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