Senator Joyce set to speak at local government forum
SENATOR Barnaby Joyce will join a long list of distinguished speakers as they spearhead a forum tackling the issues around council amalgamations.
Hosted by the Return Our Shires Action Group, the local government forum will focus on the economic reasons for amalgamation.
ROSAG spokeswoman Mary Rofe said Mr Joyce's involvement was warranted because he was the Opposition spokesman for local government.
"Our chairman Bob Johnson approached him before Christmas and said what we were planning to do and he was more than happy to be involved," she said.
"He has foreshadowed a focus on Federal Assistance Grants and maintains that they should be indexed, not to the CPI, but to average weekly earnings so that local authorities get a fair share of the taxes.
"His address is shaping up to be an interesting dissection of cherished ideas in this vital area of local government economics."
Mrs Rofe said they were not aiming to change things overnight but hoped those in charge would reassess why they made the decision to refuse Stanthorpe's de-amalgamation proposal as well as those of many other areas in Queensland.
Other special speakers include University of New England Centre for Local Government director professor Brian Dollery, Australian Catholic University Public Policy Institute professor Dr Scott Prasser and University of Southern Queensland Business and Law associate professor Geoff Cockfield.
When: Saturday, 9am-3.30pm
Where: Stanthorpe Civic Centre
Cost: $35 a person, register at Sue's Fruit at the Stanthorpe Plaza or at the door on the day
Includes: Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea