Livingstone and Rockhampton mayors split on boundary

WITH his mind firmly fixed on disaster recovery, Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig has said boundary re-alignment isn't likely to happen before the 2016 election.

"We always said right from the start it would be very challenging to do anything before 2020," Cr Ludwig told The Morning Bulletin.

His comments come after Rockhampton Regional Mayor Margaret Strelow issued a statement on Friday urging the two councils to put forward a joint submission to next Sunday's Community Cabinet.

Livingstone, along with the local government areas of Fitzroy and Mount Morgan, was amalgamated with Rockhampton in 2008.

In March 2013, residents of the former Livingstone Shire voted to de-amalgamate, with the shire re-established on January 1, 2014.

In December, residents in Nerimbera, Glenlee, Rockyview and Glendale voted in a voluntary local government boundary review poll.

Glenlee, Rockyview and Glendale expressed a desire to once again be included in the Rockhampton local government area.

Cr Ludwig said while he did "absolutely intend to keep faith with what's been expressed by those communities", he did not want the boundary re-alignment to negatively impact either council.

He said the council would not know the full extent of its financial situation for at least six months and was still waiting to hear what infrastructure would be covered under disaster relief funding.

"Livingstone has led the process, we've had the first discussion with the community by doing a very comprehensive poll," Cr Ludwig said.

He said it would be an injustice to both Rockhampton and Livingstone to "stampede" into any changes.

But Cr Strelow told The Morning Bulletin it would be risky to leave things up in the air until the 2020 election.

"We've agreed all along that it's possible to do it earlier," she said.

"It can still be done in time for this election and I think it would keep the faith of the electorate to do it.

"The reality is the Rockhampton region is providing many of the services these communities use and they want to be fully part of the community and we know we could make it happen in time."

Cr Strelow said completing the de-amalgamation process in a year had shown the changes were possible before 2020.

The Community Cabinet will be held at the North Rockhampton State High School on Sunday, May 24.


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