Sobering results for governments

MORE than a third of Queenslanders would not support their mayor at the next local council elections.

Just 36% of Community Satisfaction Tracking Survey respondents would re-elect their current mayor, indicating forced council amalgamations and rising costs have contributed to resident dissatisfaction.

The report by the Local Government Association of Queensland surveyed 700 residents, which also revealed rural and provincial areas held the lowest support for their local mayors and councillors.

LGAQ president Paul Bell described the findings as “sobering”.

“People notice there’s been a change in their local government and a lot of them don’t like it,” Cr Bell said.

“There is a challenge here for local councils to better explain the good work they do.”

Rising costs contributed to the 2% drop in two years, giving local governments the lowest overall performance rating since the survey began in 1999.

An alarming 79% of the 700 Queenslanders polled, representing a broad cross-section of residents, had not made contact with their local mayor or a councillor in the past year.

Contact was highest in rural areas with 28% who had made contact, but it was down from 34.7% in 2009.

Seventy-three percent thought council rates and charges were reasonable, an increase from just 66% in 2009.

Overall performance rating questions were divided between amalgamated and non-amalgamated councils, with a 2% difference between them.

Councils were rated a low 64% performance rating, of which 63% were from amalgamated councils and 65% non-amalgamated.

“We in local government all have to remember that putting in the effort to listen to and heed the concerns of our communities is fundamental to the social and economic development of our region,” Cr Bell said.


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Central Highlands remain dry

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