WITH the failed state waste levy behind them our new local and state governments have extended an olive branch and come together with a bright future in mind.
Local government minister David Crisafulli said local councils had long been a dumping group for failed State Government policies for too long.
"The waste levy is a classic example of this," Mr Crisafulli said.
"It not only forced councils to be a collection agency for the waste levy but they then had to pay it themselves.
"I believe in less legislation which will deliver savings instead of tying them up in red tape."
Southern Downs mayor Peter Blundell said the scrapping of the waste levy was a good idea despite having concerns about the promised benefits from the money which was committed.
"Money that was to be returned to us now seems unavailable but both sides are working together to see what positive outcome can be achieved," he said."
Mr Crisafulli said the reason for his visit was two-fold.
"Firstly it is to restore the relationship between state government and local councils," he said.
"Local councils have been battered and bruised over the past 7-8 years and it is my mission to allow councils to make their own decisions for their local people.
"Secondly, it is to work out what changes need to be made to the Local Government Act which is restricting local councils from making decisions for their community."
Cr Blundell said the local government had found the state government process frustrating over the years,
"The feeling is that this state government change will result in getting change and autonomy for local councils," Cr Blundell said.
Mr Crisafulli said his overall aim was to put local governments back in control of their communities.
Cr Blundell was pleased to have Mr Crisafulli supporting local needs.
"It is an absolute breath of fresh air and will allow us to be proper community representatives again," he said.
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