Granite Belt votes with its feet
WITH thirteen hundred people at today's public rally and close to 6000 petition signatures, the people of the Granite Belt have spoken.
Locals amassed at C.F White Oval this afternoon in support of a de-merger of the Granite Belt and its northern realms.
The proposal is that the Granite Belt, inclusive of Dalveen, break away from what's remaining of the current Southern Downs Regional Council and form the Granite Belt Shire Council.
A motion was put to attendees and they resoundingly responded with a yes. There was one lone vote for the no camp. There were also a handful of people who identified as being from Warwick. They also supported the motion.
"With 1300 people and plus about 3-400 absentees - I feel it's a tremendous result,” Granite Belt Community Association president Reverend Alan Colyer said.
"I'm just so pleased and relieved that the motion has now passed and we can begin the next phase of work.
"When you think about where we started and where we got to, Southern Downs Regional Council has to listen to us now.”
Rev Colyer said today's show of support gave them belief ahead of what was to come.
The rally was chaired by Queensland Local Government Reform Alliance president Colin Hewitt and he spoke on his experience of matters relating to de-amalgamation.
Member for Southern Downs James Lister also spoke. He said the roll-up came as little shock.
"I'm not surprised at the turnout here today. It's something that's been building for a long time.
"As the local MP you're out and about and talking to people and it was pretty obvious there's a very strong will on the Granite Belt that the way people are governed be changed.
"It's the evident wish of the people that they have a say on how they're going to be governed and that they wish to have a Granite Belt Regional Council.
"But I am not here to lead this. I represent everyone, including those in this electorate, who oppose de-amalgamation. What I have a role in doing is making sure everybody has a say,” Mr Lister said.
Rev Colyer and other members of the Granite Belt Community Association will travel to Parliament House in the morning to present the petition to the Clerk of the Parliament.
It will then be presented to Parliament on Wednesday, May 2.