‘Divisions will shock many': Dyne
MAYOR Ron Dyne says Gympie Region people will be shocked at the reality of divisional representation, especially if they expect it to be anything like the system which operated in the former Cooloola Shire.
With a limit of eight councillors and the mayor, the one vote-one value requirement will mean an area much larger than the old Kilkivan Shire will be represented by one councillor only.
"One person will represent 3700sq km.
"When people see the divisional break-up - and I haven't yet - I think they'll be shocked.
"On our estimates, it may be that the area will involve Kilkivan Shire, right in to Rocks Rd and possibly out to Amamoor Creek," he said.
"There would be four or so in Gympie city."
And Gympie business leader Kerren Smith agrees.
Both of them yesterday put the bulk of the responsibility for the new system on Gympie state MP David Gibson, who strongly advocated for divisions.
Both said it seemed that Mr Gibson's representations were significant.
"When we informed the Electoral Commission people that David Gibson was not our area's only MP, they seemed quite surprised," Cr Dyne said.
Mr Smith described the decision in favour of divisions as "a significant step backwards for Gympie".
"People are calling it democratic, but how is it more democratic that people could once vote for the whole council but now only have a say in one-eighth of the council, one councillor.
"To have divisions means exactly what it says. It does create divisions in the community.
"Before this, we were able to exercise our votes after looking at the best mix of skills for the whole community. In the opinion survey that was done, 96 people were in favour of divisions and 69 of those were from what might be the coastal division, from Neerdie and Goomboorian to the Cooloola Coast.
"People in favour of divisions were overwhelmingly from the coast. I again question how this is democratic.
"And they could have had a councillor if they had selected one person to support, instead of splitting the vote among multiple candidates," he said.