Councils oppose state government ?buck passing

By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au

PLANS to pass the cost of asbestos removal from the State Government onto local councils have been strongly opposed by Calliope and Gladstone City Councils.

Both councils have supported a Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) campaign against the State Government which could include civil disobedience.

In a recent letter, the association reminded both councils it had opposed the mandate being imposed on councils since the proposition was first introduced to Parliament.

At Gladstone City Council's meeting last Wednesday mayor Peter Corones lashed out at the State Government for what he said was continual passing of the buck onto local councils.

'It's just yet another example of buck passing as we see it,' Cr Corones said.

Calliope Shire Council was concerned any such legislation would expose its workers to a hazard they were not trained to deal with and also expose the council to public liability by making it responsible for asbestos removal in non-workplace settings.

The LGAQ pointed out that no other state in Australia specifically required councils to undertake that task, and that alternative approaches existed.

Calliope deputy-mayor Rick Bichsel said the government plan was like the anti-smoking laws, with the government trying 'to shift the responsibility onto councils.'



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