Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Rockhampton calls on Livingstone council to reveal campaign costs

Rockhampton Regional Council has called on Livingstone Shire Council to be upfront with its ratepayers about the true cost of the organisation’s Northern Suburbs campaign.

Rockhampton Councillor, Donna Kirkland said the Livingstone Council had already publicly stated it had spent $100,000 to prepare its first submission.

“Council told an August 2021 edition of The Spectator that Livingstone spent $100,000 to prepare a submission objecting to the boundary review,” Cr Kirkland (pictured, second from right) said.

“We’ve also seen reference to consultants in Livingstone’s latest submission to the Change Commission, so the public and indeed their ratepayers deserve to know whether more money has been spent and what was done in house and what they paid a consultant to do.

“While they are at it, they should also tell the public what they also spent the first time they launched their campaign back in 2020.”

She said Rockhampton Regional Council staff had completed the majority of both of its submissions internally and spent under $20,000 on additional work.

“We have been completely transparent in spending $100,000 on a public campaign to secure our region’s future and we make no apology for that,” said Cr Kirkland.

“This is the most important decision our regions will vote on for decades to come and we are investing in our future and in our region.

“Livingstone have tried to make out they are only spending $10,000 on the campaign – they need to be transparent and release their true figures,” she said.

Meanwhile, Livingstone Shire Mayor ,Andy Ireland yesterday announced a community catch-up will be held on Saturday to meet with residents impacted by the proposed northern suburbs boundary change.

Mayor Ireland said it was an important opportunity for residents to ask questions and receive Council’s feedback before they are asked to vote on the issue by the Electoral Commission Queensland.

“I understand and appreciate there are residents in these affected suburbs who want to be transferred to Rockhampton Regional Council due to their proximity and promise of cheaper rates,” Mayor Ireland said.

“But I pose a question to those in favour of the move. Do you trust Rockhampton Regional Council to do what they say they will in terms of service, future development, and lifestyle? 

“Residents choose to live in these suburbs because they seek a larger lot, more of a rural lifestyle and they are not necessarily pursuing a coastal location.  

“This was facilitated by Livingstone Shire Council’s planning scheme which allows for rural, residential larger lot living.”  

Around 2016, when Livingstone council submitted its revised planning scheme for consultation and approval, Rockhampton council objected to the fact that larger lot subdivisions were to be permitted, the Mayor said.

“Fast forward to now and I wonder whether RRC’s attitude has changed. I’m confident it hasn’t,” he says.

“If not, under RRC control, the rural residential lifestyle within these areas may well be threatened by neighbouring smaller lot subdivisions designed to optimise revenue.

“Your small acreage lots will be surrounded by smaller lot subdivisions – something LSC is not contemplating going forward. 

“This Council values all areas of the shire equally and together we have a stronger economic future. 

“When you get your ballot in the mail soon, please ‘vote no’ to protect your lifestyle.”

The Livingstone ‘Resident Reach Catch-Up’ is scheduled for 9 – 11am at Sondra Lena Park in Glendale this Saturday 11 June.

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