Aerial drone shots of the public de-amalgamation rally attendance in April 2018.
Aerial drone shots of the public de-amalgamation rally attendance in April 2018. Cooper Wren

DE-AMALGATION RALLY: 'We are mobilising everybody'

THE fight to free the Granite Belt from the Southern Downs is set to reach an apex in three weeks' time at a rally to demand a 'fairer' decision-making process that sidelines Southern Downs Regional Council from discussions.

Granite Belt Community Association president Alan Colyer said the group was 'mobilising everybody' in the hope of sending a 'loud and clear' message to the minister for local government, Stirling Hinchliffe.

"Please let this go to the change commission,” Mr Colyer said.

"We want the change commission to report to the minster, not the council that continues to ignore us. I think that is fair and just.”

It comes after Southern Downs Regional Council appointed an independent consultant to review the GBCA's business case for de-amalgamation as well as SDRC's response.

Former Queensland local government commissioner Greg Hoffman presented part of his assessment to a public meeting at Warwick town hall on Tuesday night.

His overall message was one of caution.

Though he stopped short of criticising the GBCA report, Mr Hoffman said there were red flags that needed to be addressed.

Alan Colyer with de-amalgamation report.
Alan Colyer presents GBCA de-amalgamation report. Contributed

While Mr Hoffman has no say in the final decision, the GBCA will be asking Mr Hinchliffe to take the de-amalgamation case to the change commission for advice.

"De-amalgamation is a serious matter and that the people of the granite belt want to be free of this council,” Mr Colyer said.

"It needs to be determined by an independent body, not someone (the council) has appointed or paid for.”

Deputy Mayor Jo McNally said Mr Hoffman had been engaged to inform the public.

Mr Colyer hopes the upcoming event will draw more than 1500 people.

If achieved, it will top the number that showed up to an initial rally about the same time last year when the movement was first taking off.

Mr Colyer said support for de-amalgamation had amassed since then.

"It has absolutely grown beyond all measure and the mayor continues to ignore the people of the Granite Belt,” he said.

"We are mobilising everybody, asking them all to come without exception. We hope the whole of the Granite Belt turns up.”

The rally will be held at the C.F. White Oval in Stanthorpe at 11.30am on Sunday April 28.