Local laws set to merge

THE final steps in the amalgamation process are only months away with Stanthorpe and Warwick set to adopt the same local laws by the end of the year.

A Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) spokesman said the council had until December to implement uniform laws across the region.

“There is still a legacy from the old Stanthorpe and Warwick shires and at the moment we don’t have the same local laws across the entire Southern Downs,” he said.

He said there were a couple of options, but deciding which would best serve the region was complicated.

“We can adopt a state government model,” he said.

“Or we can keep the old local laws from the previous shires which have already gone through a state interest check.”

If the council chose to keep the old local laws, one from either Stanthorpe or Warwick would have to be decided upon and implemented across the entire region.

The spokesman said the council would workshop the issue throughout July, but it was likely a combination of old laws and the state government model would be adopted.

The number of local laws in place was also in question.

“We currently have a high number of laws, with 45-50 across the two former shires,” he said.

“In general, we are hoping reduce the complexity of the laws by reducing the number of them.

“At this stage we are looking at maybe having eight to 10.

"It could be more but would be significantly less than what we have now.”

Cr Peter Blundell said blackberry control would be one of the laws looked at under the merged system.

“The former Stanthorpe shire felt it was an important enough weed to have an enforceable local law,” he said.

“But Warwick had not, so that will be something we have to look at.”

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