Councils money starved: Crisafulli
THE touring Queensland Local Government Minister has declared councils throughout the region are starved of money, and has spoken about the need for the state to give back to regions struggling with the impacts of the mining boom.
Speaking from Barcaldine on Wednesday, with the raspy voice of a man who has copped the rough end of a Central Highlands flu, Minister David Crisafulli said he hoped to restore a legacy of broken trust left behind by the previous Labor government.
"We need to start pumping money back into these regions," Mr Crisafulli said.
"With specifics, I can say that we will fund road works out here (in Barcaldine), infrastructure and even a couple of levee banks.
"The previous government severely compromised the relationship with councils."
But Mr Crisafulli said it was up to councils, not the state, to make sure enough housing was provided for its citizens.
He said the way to ensure that could happen was to release residential land and be well prepared in advance.
"The impact of mining will certainly be a challenge for this council in the years to come and we want to help minimise that," he said.
"I want to try and change the Local Government Act and put mayors back in charge.
"They (Barcaldine councillors) talked about the need to develop housing and also the need to give back, which we will do through our Royalties for the Regions fund.
"The community out here gave the mayor and council a strong mandate as nearly all were re-elected and we want to give them some power."
Mr Crisafulli said it was important that councils affected by the mining boom were "definitely given the infrastructure ahead of the game".
Again, he said it was up to councils to ensure their planning was well prepared and thoroughly thought out.
"We also need to make sure we've got enough services on the ground and that's where councils can help," he said.
"They need to make sure that is happening."