Livingstone Shire Mayor Andy Ireland.
Livingstone Shire Mayor Andy Ireland.

Boundary review - here’s what will happen

RESIDENTS of Glenlee, Glendale and Rockyview will have a lengthy wait to find out whether they remain in Livingstone Shire or go back to the Rockhampton region.

Importantly, they will get another chance to be heard on their preference.

The office of Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has confirmed that a boundary review is not expected to start until next year.

It has also revealed that both Livingstone Shire Council and Rockhampton Regional Council will be probed to determine their respective “financial sustainability” moving forward.

“The proposed boundary realignment has been referred to the Change Commission, which wasn’t able to begin the review before the Local Government elections in March,” a spokeswoman for Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The Department recently contacted the Change Commission and was advised that it will liaise with both councils to advise that the review will be scheduled to take place in 2021. “Some initial preparatory work may commence prior to this.

“However, the exact timing of the review is a matter for Electoral Commission Queensland.”

Minister Hinchliffe’s office also shed light on the extent of the boundary review.

“The review will also include an appraisal of each local government’s financial sustainability to ensure that each local government has the capacity to provide activities, facilities and services to their communities should the boundary change be implemented,” the spokeswoman said.

The ECQ has confirmed that the Change Commission will conduct community consultation as part of the assessment process.

The ECQ advised this was usually done through written submissions.

Rockhampton Regional Council has not let go of this issue since de-amalgamation, which forced Mr Hinchliffe to recommend a boundary review to the boundary commissioner. Last week Livingstone Shire Council formalised its position, resolving to write to Mr Hinchliffe outlining that it does not support a boundary review and wants to retain the townships of Glenlee, Glendale and Rockyview.

When the issue reared its head again last week, Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow said her region’s ratepayers subsidised this northern community for about $5 million a year and “we are very keen that the northern suburbs become a part of our community formally.”

“We see that this is now up to the boundary commissioner to resolve,” Cr Strelow added.

While Livingstone does not support a boundary review, it will go ahead.

Mayor Ireland has told his shire’s councillors that Mr Hinchliffe informed “once the process of boundary realignment has started, it can’t be stopped.”