Rocky council will have seven councillors at 2016 election
SEVEN or eight? That was the question.
There was confusion on Friday over just how many people would make up the Rockhampton Regional Council come the local government election in 2016.
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Mayor Margaret Strelow had been under the impression, resulting from a number of council discussions, that voters would be electing eight councillors after the split with Livingstone.
But she was set straight by a text message from Local Government Minister David Crisafulli after an inquiry from The Morning Bulletin.
He said if RRC wanted another councillor, it would have to advocate for one.
"Any council can come forward with a proposal for an increase in the number of councillors," he had told The Morning Bulletin earlier.
"If, in the lead-up to the 2016 local government elections, I receive a proposal from the Rockhampton Regional Council showing community support for a change then I would be happy to consider it."
That surprised Cr Strelow who said the news would change council's position going forward.
She said they would not be making a bid for an extra councillor, even in light of last weekend's Local Government Boundary Review Poll in which the suburbs of Glenlee, Rockyview and Glendale indicated a desire to return to the Rockhampton local government area.
"We are fine with seven councillors and will stay, happily, with seven councillors," she said.
"We have a council that is working really well together."
The RRC has operated with seven councillors since de-amalgamation when three of its sitting councillors - Bill Ludwig, Tom Wyatt and Glenda Mather - moved to Livingstone Shire Council.
Cr Strelow did anticipate a "significant boundary re-alignment" before the next election, given that several councillors had been left carrying an extra load since the Livingstone de-amalgamation.
She said there was no pressing need to abolish divisions.
"At the moment, the boundaries for the current Rockhampton Regional Council are working well.
"Councillors do put the good of the whole community first."
Former mayoral candidate Dominic Doblo had this week called for the abolition of divisions, saying they were holding Rockhampton back. He said the region needed councillors who looked at the big picture, rather than just advocating for their own area.