May 24, 2012
Hopes that the South Burnett Regional Council’s borders could be expanded to include Yarraman and Goomeri were dashed by the State Government yesterday.
David Crisafulli, Queensland’s new Local Government Minister, has ruled out the formation of any new council areas.
In Toowoomba as part of a regional tour, Mr Crisafulli said the Government would not consider any proposals from groups that wanted to break away and merge into other council areas.
He said proposals of that nature wouldn’t be supported by the new State Government because he didn’t want to “open a whole new round of pain and amalgamations”.
“We don’t want to embark on any new round of pulling communities apart and tearing them to and fro,” he said.
Mr Crisafulli said the State Government would consider submissions from former shires that wanted to de-amalgamate and go it alone.
The State Government is in the process of appointing a Boundaries Commissioner to consider such proposals.
“If shires wish to go back to how it was – and the people in that area feel passionate about it and they can make a good financial case – they will be given that opportunity,” he said.
But he urged those considering a breakaway to carefully consider their plans.
“It is our preference that communities try and make it (ie. the current situation) work,” he said.
In May last year more than 140 people attended a public meeting in Yarraman to gauge whether locals wanted to stay with the Toowoomba Regional Council or ask to be moved into the South Burnett Regional Council area.
The meeting was organised by the Yarraman Town Council.
YTC Chairman Wayne Emms said at the time that there had been a lot of talk about the future of Yarraman and the group had decided it was time to put the issue to bed “one way or the other”.
Voting at the meeting seemed to be evenly split between staying with Toowoomba or moving into the South Burnett Regional Council’s area, but the issue has lain on the table since then.
Last year former SBRC Mayor David Carter also briefly entertained the idea of seeking to wrest Goomeri from Gympie Regional Council because of historic sporting and shopping ties and the close geographic proximity of both towns.
However this matter was never put to Goomeri residents to gauge their feelings on the issue.