Sign up for shire future
THE chance of a return to an independent Livingstone Shire will be a step closer if 20% of Livingstone voters sign the new de-amalgamation petition required by the newly appointed State Government Boundary Commissioner. The petition will be circulated this week in the Mirror newspaper on page 18 and be available for signing at local Capricorn Coast businesses.Cr Bill Ludwig and CCIM chairman Paul Lancaster said this was the long-awaited first step in the LNP's promised process to return decision making to local communities who have been unhappy with the results of the 2008 forced amalgamations."It is important that people get behind the new petition as they did last year with the first petition that gained more than 10,500 signatures," Cr Ludwig said."This time we only need to gather just under 5000 signatures. However, people must all be voters from our area and be registered on the current electoral role," Cr Ludwig said."The process has a number of stages but Livingstone and the Capricorn Coast are certainly now in with a good chance of getting our independence back."Mr Lancaster also reinforced the importance of the community getting behind the petition quickly as the timeframes set by the LNP Government are extremely tight. "Petitions must be completed and lodged with the boundary commissioner by August 28," Mr Lancaster said."Providing we get the numbers on the petition and our business case for independence and financial sustainability is accepted, we have been promised a vote on de-amalgamating early next year, followed by a return to an independent Livingstone in 2014 if the de-amalgamation vote is carried."The LNP (has) have said the de-amalgamating shire must meet certain costs but the community will be given all that information well before we vote. "Right now signing the petition is our only way to ensure we actually get that vote to decide our own future," Mr Lancaster said.See page 18 for a copy of the petition that can be cut out and circulated. Petitions can be returned to a box located in the Mirror office.