People firmly behind de-merger: MP

Glen Elmes MP reflects on Noosa Council's de-amalgamation process 12 months ago.


THIS week Noosa Today put the spotlight on incumbent Member for Noosa Glen Elmes MP.
Mr Elmes was asked to look back at some of his key successes since taking office.
“I entered politics to make a difference, to deliver as best I could what my community needed,” he said.
“If ever there was an issue about which the Noosa community was clear in its desire, it was to preserve its own patch and to ensure it had control of a truly local council.”
Mr Elmes said the journey towards de-amalgamation was one that united Noosa residents behind a common cause in 2007.
“A few short months after I was first elected to Parliament… the then Premier Peter Beattie, blindsided all by sneaking a change to the State Constitution to snatch away the right of electors to object to amalgamation of their council and then announcing that the big broom was to be put through local government in Queensland,” he said.
“The fiction of the Local Government Reform Commission rubber stamped the Beattie Government’s whim to force amalgamation on Queensland councils and to amalgamate Noosa with its southern neighbours.”
Mr Elmes said the Noosa community never lost its passion or commitment to the cause during the six years that followed.
“When asked to fill in a petition they did, 18,747 of them in a day, when asked to march in protest they did, 7000 of them descending on Parliament, most of whom had never demonstrated before on anything,” he said.
“They were there in the public gallery when I declared war on the Beattie Government on their behalf demanding the restoration of their democratic rights so rudely trampled.
“They were there in great numbers every time they were called upon to vote either in Prime Minister John Howard’s plebiscite or the post card required by Minister Crisafulli’s initial stage of the de-amalgamation process.
“The community was one in its opposition – the numbers were always 80 per cent or above and the vote on 9 March 2013 was 81.38 per cent, every booth recording unanimous agreement to get our council back.”
Mr Elmes said without the election of the Newman LNP Government in 2012, “Noosa would not have been de-amalgamated” almost 12 months ago.
“I am very grateful to my colleagues when as the leader of the Opposition respectively at my urging, Jeff Seeney, Lawrence Springborg, John-Paul Langbroek and Campbell Newman all maintained the LNP’s commitment to let communities have a democratic say on this issue so vital to so many,” he said.
“They deserve our thanks, none more so than the now Premier who delivered what he promised me.”
Mr Elmes was asked to address election hurdles the LNP government may face in next year’s election.
“The truth is that all candidates whether representing a mainstream or minor party or standing as an Independent seeking election, have to come up with projects which they would like to accomplish,” he said.
“The reality is that the next government of Queensland will be either LNP which has well and truly delivered for Noosa and Queensland or ALP which is recycling members from failed administrations of the past which left the state with $80 billion of debt, a major interest burden.
“To me, if you really want effective representation and effective government, the choice is crystal clear.”