GBCA Releases Response to Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) Management Review
The GBCA are pleased to announce the release of their response to the SDRC Management Review. The response was written by the association’s Project Steering Committee who were assisted by independent consultant, Mr David Spearritt. A copy has been sent to Minister Hinchliffe for his department to review.
“We have concentrated our response on the financial and administrative issues raised in the Management Review” said Project Steering Committee member, Mrs Amanda Harrold. “The steering committee have had to deal in some degree as well with sundry allegations ranging from the strange to the seriously misleading. We do this only in order to set the record straight where necessary but without wishing to detract from our central message which is that we believe that the case made in our Proposal remains robust and unchanged.”
The Association is disappointed that SDRC has missed an opportunity for constructive engagement, by producing a report that is partially a partisan defence of the authors’ organisation and partially a frequently inaccurate commentary on the GBCA Report.GBCA President, Rev Alan Colyer said, “The disconnect between the two communities could hardly be more clearly demonstrated than by comments in the SDRC Management Review. The lack of understanding of the differences between the industries and communities of the Granite Belt and Warwick are of great concern and indeed support our case to separate and create a new Granite Belt Council.”
“We hoped for an impartial consideration of our Proposal by senior Council officers within the confines of their expertise on financial and administrative issues. Instead, the Review ranges beyond finances and structure and into a submission against de-amalgamation.”
“On behalf of the Association and the community I would like to thank the members of our Project Steering Committee, who are all volunteers, and have dedicated enormous amounts of their time to the GBCA’s proposal to separate from the Southern Downs and create a new Granite Belt Council.”
A New Granite Belt Council – A proposal to separate from the Southern Downs Regional Council – Report release Friday, 21 December
The Granite Belt Community Association (GBCA) is pleased to announce the Business Case for “A New Granite Belt Council” will be available for viewing by the public from 9.00 am tomorrow.
Chairman of the De-amalgamation Project Steering Committee, the Hon Lawrence Springborg stated, “I felt it was important that I undertake the role of Chairman of the Granite Belt Community Association’s de-amalgamation sub-committee and thank them for extending me the opportunity. I would like to acknowledge their professionalism and diligence in the task undertaken to consider this issue on behalf of the community. The Southern Downs Regional Council through Mayor Tracy Dobie, Councillors, CEO David Keenan and his staff also deserve our appreciation for the open, cooperative and professional way that they have approached and supported our committees work. They have provided virtually all the information sought in a timely and open way. This was not always easy for them as they were busy attending to their statutory obligations for external audit requirements during that time.”
Mr Springborg acknowledged the community’s past support of him, which has always been most gracious and supportive of him in his role as their local member over twenty eight years and felt that the question of the feasibility of reestablishing two viable local council areas had to be resolved once and for all. The communities desire to answer this question has led to a very professional evaluation, supported by the Minister for Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe and his office, who have been of great assistance and encouragement and deserve our recognition and thanks.
This report based on the advice and analysis of highly respected local government expert and consultant David Spearritt, concludes that it is feasible to recreate two viable and functioning councils. This lingering question has finally been answered.
“It is now up to the Minister for Local Government, the council and the community to decide the next steps,” said Mr Springborg. “This report is a fine example of community determination, perseverance, cooperation and respect. I encourage that cooperation and respect to continue, as it is critical to concluding a proper consideration of this report and its outcomes.”
Related News Articles:
Stanthorpe Border Post – De-amalgamation Case in Minister’s hands
Southern Free Times – De-merger Business Case released
Stanthorpe Border Post – De-merger Report available to all
Stanthorpe Border Post – No outside help warranted says Minister
Southern Free Times – De-merger workshops
Stanthorpe Border Post – Council hires consultant to review de-amalgamation proposal