Gympie MP David Gibson
Gympie MP David Gibson File Photo

Gibson denies vote ruling

DIVISIONAL representation seems to be as divisive an issue as ever in the Gympie Regional Council area.

Gympie MP David Gibson, who advocated passionately for divisions before the government decision to introduce them, this week said the decision was not his responsibility.

He was apparently responding to a claim by Mayor Ron Dyne that Mr Gibson's representations to Electoral Commission Queensland were particularly influential because of his role as Gympie MP.

Cr Dyne said ECQ officers seemed to have overlooked the fact that LNP Parliamentary leader Jeff Seeney's Callide electorate took in much of the Kilkivan section of the Gympie Regional Council area.

"Chris Foley (Independent, Maryborough) also represents parts of Gympie region (in state Parliament)," Cr Dyne said.

He said the officers seemed to have given significant weight to Mr Gibson's submissions in favour of divisional representation in the council.

Mr Gibson denied this, saying it was an "impartial decision".

"There was a detailed process that involved the independent electoral commissioner and independent research before a recommendation to the minister and a final decision by the Governor.

"In my role as Shadow Minister for Local Government I've had to study the legislation so as a result I probably have a better understanding than most on the process.

"People forget that I'm in opposition.

"I wish I had that power as I could fix some of the more pressing issues that we face in the Gympie Region, but I was just one voice.

"I understand that some people are not happy and will want to attribute blame but that will not change the decision," he said.

Meanwhile, Goomeri Chamber of Commerce president and former Kilkivan Shire councillor said he believed "most people" were "very, very unhappy" with divisions.

He said he felt the old Kilkivan Shire had a better council elected over the whole shire than it had when divisions had been in place.

He said he was at a Wide Bay Burnett regional planning meeting in Hervey Bay when Deputy Premier Paul Lucas said he was against divisions.

"We have divisions because David Gibson wanted it," he said.

 

Divisional poll facts

Gympie regional council area now has eight divisions, with one councillor to be elected from each.

Mayoral candidates will be elected across the whole region

Election due the last Saturday in March, 2012