One of the Bligh government’s last actions before the going into election caretaker mode has been to slap councils* with new requirements to broadcast meetings.
LNP Shadow Minister for Local Government, David Gibson has called on Labor to drop its last minute regulation to force the move without debate and without proper consultation.
“Local councils should be allowed to decide, and at very least, to have this new regulation debated before another costly policy gets slapped on them,” Mr Gibson said.
“The plan to force councils to video record and internet broadcast all meetings would cost Queensland ratepayers many millions of dollars a year.
“At a time when Queenslanders are feeling real pain from cost of living increases, the last thing they need is more rate increases forced on them by the long-term Labor government.
Councils should be allowed to make decisions about spending priorities. If individual councils want to go this way, then we will support them. But they need to be in control, and accountable for their decisions at the local level.”
Mr Gibson said Bligh Labor had proved time and again that it had no regard for the role of councils in representing, servicing and advocating on behalf of their ratepayers.
“Labor is intent on playing Big Brother with councils and their meetings and ratepayers will be the ones who will have to pick up the bill.”
“The tired Labor government has had 20 years, and yet they have failed to work with local councils to properly empower them and give them proper responsibility and accountability in their communities.”
“Labor has caused a breakdown in the relationship between councils and the state government by forcing amalgamations, cutting grants and subsidies, shifting state costs on to councils, and meddling in local council elections.”
“Only the LNP has a plan to restore frontline services and accountability in government by properly empowering councils, with increased transparency and accountability to local people for local decisions,” Mr Gibson said.
“It’s time for a change. It’s time to get Queensland back on track.”
*Labor will force Brisbane City Council to broadcast meetings from July 1, 2012 and the 12 other Councils with populations above 100,000 (at 1/1/12) from January 1, 2013, including: Cairns Regional Council; Fraser Coast Regional Council; Gold Coast City Council; Ipswich City Council; Logan City Council; Mackay Regional Council; Moreton Bay Regional Council; Redland City Council; Rockhampton Regional Council; Sunshine Coast Regional Council; Toowoomba Regional Council; and Townsville City Council.