Council merger back on agenda

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE mayor Peter Corones will push for a meeting with Calliope Shire Council to discuss the possibility of amalgamation.

Speaking with The Observer from a Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) conference in Brisbane, Cr Corones said he would continue to discuss the option of amalgamation and other resource sharing between the two councils.

'I'll be certainly promoting it (the possibility of amalgamation),' Cr Corones said.

'I'll be certainly pushing for that, for the better of the whole region, that we sit down and see how we can better work together, better than we do now.'

The conference, called Size Shape and Sustainability, is being attended by Cr Corones and chief executive officer Julie Reitano from Gladstone, along with a large number of Calliope Shire councillors.

Gladstone City Council has also conducted a survey among Gladstone residents to get their thoughts on the possibility of amalgamation.

However Cr Corones would not release the details of the survey.

'It would be premature for me to comment on that at this stage,' he said.However judging by comments from Calliope Shire mayor George Creed, an amalgamation between the two councils was unlikely.

'There is no way my council will ever agree to an amalgamation, especially for the wrong reasons, there would need to be some benefit for us,' Cr Creed said.

When asked what he meant by 'the wrong reason' for amalgamation, Cr Creed accused Cr Corones of pursuing the amalgamation to meet debts the city had accrued.

The LGAQ has encouraged local councils to discuss the possibility of amalgamation along with other resource sharing options.



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