Livingstone Shire loses $6.8m claim from de-amalgamation
ALMOST a year after splitting, the final dispute between Rockhampton and Livingstone councils has been resolved, with a decision finally made on the $6.8 million hanging over the council's heads.
After the separation, Livingstone claimed they were owed an extra $6.8 million, but Local Government Minister David Crisafulli has made a decision in Rockhampton's favour over the disputed costs.
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Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow said Minister Crisafulli's decision was a relief.
"This certainly helps our position going forward," she said.
"We're very pleased … we knew we had done everything in accordance with deamalgamation regulation."
And while it's a disappointing outcome for Livingstone, Mayor Bill Ludwig said they hadn't been focused on the possibility of an extra payout.
Cr Ludwig said the $6.8 million figure came after a disagreement on how the two council's accountants did the analysis on their closing balances.
He also said since Livingstone rates came in late, independent accountants believed they should have technically received an extra $6.8 million.
This would have been based on a different equation to rates that came in on time.
"I appreciate the efforts of accounting teams on both sides, but it hasn't been something that we've been focused on from the (council) table's perspective," he said.
"We've been too busy getting the new council established."
Cr Ludwig said they've been focused on the major projects being announced in the region, which are being realised with the help of State and Federal government funding.
Last week Minister Crisafulli made a similar decision in favour of the Sunshine Coast shire, after Noosa shire put in a claim for an extra $22 million.
On the local decision, he said the region had come through this process with two viable councils, and it was time for both to get on with the job they were elected to do - deliver for ratepayers.
"This was one of the few decisions the councils couldn't agree on, but on a whole both have done a good job," he said.