News soon on divisions

THE Queensland Government expects to announce a decision in the next 24 hours on whether the Gympie Regional Council should have divisional representation.

A spokesman for Deputy Premier and Local Government Minister Paul Lucas yesterday confirmed this week a decision was expected by tomorrow.

The Electoral Commission held a hearing of public submissions on the issue at the Gympie Conference Centre in August and recommended the introduction of divisional representation, despite contrary views expressed by Gympie Regional Council.

Mr Lucas said this week there were arguments for and against changing to a divisional system in Gympie.

"In my opinion the current council has worked very well indeed," he told ABC Radio during the week.

"However the independent change commission, with the electoral commissioner in charge, has come up with a recommendation to divide it into separate divisions and of course that's something that weighs very heavily on the minds of the State Government," Mr Lucas said.

"Additionally the local member David Gibson has indicated he supports dividing the council," he said.

The issue has been a hot topic since regional councillors held an opinion poll on the subject and then rejected its pro-divisions recommendations.

They said the poll was not sufficiently representative.

This prompted allegations that sitting councillors had put their own political advantage ahead of their own chosen gauge of public opinion.