Can-Do opens door on councils

IT was inevitable the "A" word would be brought up when Can-Do Campbell Newman came to town.

It didn't take long for amalgamation - or de-amalgamation to be precise - to be raised when one Allora resident confessed he felt the town's two mergers - first with the Warwick Shire Council, then into the Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) - hadn't been positive for the community.

Mr Newman was in the Rose City yesterday and met leaders of various Warwick organisations over lunch.

He said while he encouraged people to think long and hard about the cost of de-amalgamation, there would be a process set up by the LNP if it gained power at the next state election, by which councils that were forced to combine under the Labor Government could appeal.

He said there were already plans to create a Boundary Review Commission with the first step gauging community support through a petition.

"The Border Review Commission then swings in to action," he said.

"It will report back the pros, the cons and the costs involved with de-amalgamating and present it to the community but the State Government won't be putting any money in."

He said a main focus for the party if it were elected would be decentralisation to better service the regions.

"They (the Labor Government) think they can run a state ... from offices in George St in Brisbane, and I don't believe that," he said.

Mr Newman was also asked about tourism, racing, roads (in particular the Eight Mile), water, disability services and mining, in a question and answer session and Mayor Ron Bellingham was impressed with the outcome.

"All of your answers for me, were very appropriate," he said.

Jan Walker, from the Southern Downs Steam Railway, said she would be following the LNP's policies on tourism with interest.

"But I thought every part of his speech held something for Warwick," she said.



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