Gympie Regional Council

Gympie Council – Bad Decision on Divisions

March 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Gympie Regional CouncilBad Council Decision on  Divisions

So Gympie Regional Council voted against introducing divisional representation at the meeting on Wednesday 9 March 2010 citing that a lack of response to their survey indicated that the community didn’t want divisions.

While this decision comes as no surprise because Councillor interest in self-preservation over-rides their interest in community representation, I find it difficult to accept that the whole process wasn’t a sham.

The Council was basically embarrassed into conducting “community consultation” on the issue and then the consultation process was undertaken in a half hearted manner by arranging a couple of obscure daytime meetings when most people can’t attend due to work commitments, a difficult online survey that required ratepayers to have the internet and an email address to complete and a few forms for available at Council offices/facilities.

This demonstrates that the only sincerity given to public consultation on the issue was to sincerely obfuscate the process ensuring that as few people could express an opinion as possible.

The local newspaper also showed it’s true colours as their reporting of the issue did not show any investigation into pros and cons of divisional representation or printing any survey forms to help their readers – a poor effort. 

Even a first year journalist could have done better and easily informed the readers that no divisional representation incurs huge financial liabilities for ratepayers without any local representation or accountability to help on their issues.

The right to divisional representation is basic electoral democracy.  This right has been removed from Gympie Ratepayers by an arrogant decision that should not have been able to have been made by this Council.

With 12 months to go to the next Queensland local Government election, the current Council having rejected divisions have ensured that it will be difficult for any person standing for election.  Prospective candidates now face the daunting and expensive task of conducting their campaign and building a profile across the whole Council area.

I trust that there will be some civic-minded people who will stand for election with a policy of implementing divisions and that the current Councillors will regret this decision.

UPDATE – 4/11/2011 – The Queensland Government has decided that Gympie Regional Council will re-introduce divisional representation for the 2012 Gympie election.  It is time to ensure that the current Gympie Councillors are called to account and made to regret their self interested decision to disregard the democratic rights of the people of Gympie.

Gympie Regional Council

Gympie Council Divisions

February 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Gympie Council Divisions

Congratulations to Reg Lawler for his efforts in “convincing” Gympie Regional Council to conduct public consultation on this important issue for Gympie Ratepayers.

For those that may not be familiar with the issue, prior to amalgamation, the Council areas had divisional representation – where the council area is divided and a resident of that division was elected to Council to represent the electors of the division on Council.  This system is the basis of Australian electoral democracy – Australia is divided into a number electoral regions and states are also have their own state electoral divisions where a resident is elected to represent that area e.g. David Gibson has been elected by the people to represent the Gympie region in Queensland Parliament.

Divisional representation is a fair and equitable system that seeks to ensure that the broader community is represented in Government.  Imagine a state without divisional representation – most of the elected politicians would be likely to be elected from the capital city leaving the rest of the stae without representation.

Unfortunately, divisional represntation was removed during the amalgamation process by decicions made by previous Councillors without any regard for the wishes or concerns of Gympie ratepayers.  Discussion of the whys and wherefores is un-neccesary here as this is history.

Given the State Governments recommendation that divisional representation should be re-instated, the Gympie Regional Council should review the previous stance against divisions.  In this review, Council should consult ratepayers and consider all aspects of divisional representation on the basis of determining the greatest benefit (and least cost) to Gympie ratepayers. 

It would be helpful if the local newspaper could actually provide a balanced report that informs readers of the results of an investigation into the reasons for the State Government recommending re-instatement of divisions with an analysis if the pros and cons of divisional representation instead of presenting what appears to be a one sided opinion (A few weeks ago, they presented an opinion (a bit of a lame tale of woe – look what the Government wants to do to us now) and the reporting in that issue seems to indicate an anti-division stance.

Perhaps they could also review S267 (3) of the Local Government Act 2009 and inform the ratepayers of the potential cost liability of holding a by-election to fill the office of a Councillor.  Without divisions, should a Councillor resign or become ill  leaving the position vacant, a by-election to elect a new Councillor is a full election across the whole Council area.  With divisions, such election is held in that division only.  I wonder if the current Councillors are aware of this liability and just how much a full election costs.

Without divisions, Gympie Regional Council is placing a huge liability on the ratepayer that could cost more than $1 million in the event of one of the Councillors being undable to carry out their duties for whatever reason. (Note: the actual cost for a full election is not available to us at the time of publication but $1M is a conservative estimate that does not include the inconvenience and disruption that results to all electors in the region). 

I urge all ratepayers have your say on this important issue by writing to Gympie Regional Council or completing the online form at

Have a look at the increases in your rate notices for the last 2 years first though and remember that no divisions means a very costly by-election that won’t be covered in the annual budget and therefore guaranteed to result in more rate increases.

UPDATE – 10 March 2011:
Gympie Council rejects electroral divisions.  Read our view at
Gympie Council – Bad Decision on Divisions

UPDATE – 4/11/2011 – The Queensland Government has decided that Gympie Regional Council will re-introduce divisional representation for the 2012 Gympie election. It is time to ensure that the current Gympie Councillors are called to account and made to regret their self interested decision to disregard the democratic rights of the people of Gympie.

Gympie Regional Council

Gympie Regional Council

January 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Gympie Regional Council logo

Gympie Regional Council

Gympie Regional Council is the Local Government body administering the area surounding the City of Gympie in South East Queensland, Australia. Gympie city, the economic hub of the Gympie Region, is located 160 kilometres north of the State Capital, Brisbane and about a 40 minute drive north from Noosa, an internationally recognised tourist location on the Sunshine Coast .

Requests for information from Gympie Council should be either directed in writing to the Chief Executive Officer or by telephoning the main switch number or one of the direct numbers listed below.

General Enquiries: 
Main Switch Line:   1300 307 800
Postal Address:   PO Box 155, GYMPIE QLD 4570
Street Address:    242 Mary Street, GYMPIE
Facsimile:    (07) 5481 0801
Gympie Office: (07) 5481 0800
Kilkivan Branch Office: (07) 5484 1133

Please phone the after hours number 1300 307 800
In the event of emergency or life threatening situations – call 000

Gympie QLD 4570, Australia

Gympie Office: (07) 5481 0800
Kilkivan Branch Office: (07) 5484 1133

CORPORATE SERVICES: (07) 5481 0800
General Enquiries, Administration, Council Property, Human Resources
Human Resources: (07) 5481 0687

COMMUNITY SERVICES: (07) 5481 0611
Dog/Cat Registration, Immunisation, Environmental Licensing, Water Quality and Sampling, Refuse Services, Food Hygiene & Premises Regsitration, Overgrown Land

Youth Development Unit: (07) 5481 0760 Fax: (07) 5483 8311 
Kilkivan Community Health Centre: (07) 5484 1471


Gympie Civic Centre: (07) 5481 0611 Fax: (07) 5481 0611
Kilkivan Museum: (07) 5484 1612
Gympie Regional Gallery: (07) 5481 0733
The Pavilion Conference & Reception Centre: (07) 5481 0824 Fax (07) 5482 1542


Gympie Library: (07) 5481 0859 Fax: (07) 5482 1205
Goomeri Library:(07) 4168 4340
Imbil Library: (07) 5484 5488 Fax (o7) 5484 5488
Kilkivan Library: (07) 5484 1209
Rainbow Beach Library: (07) 5486 3705 Fax: (07) 5486 3705
Tin Can Bay Library: (07) 5486 4355 Fax:  (07) 5486 4355


Goomeri Swimming Pool: (07) 4168 4201
Gympie Swimming Pool: (07) 5482 1471
Kandanga Swimming Pool:(07) 5484 3770
Kilkivan Swimming Pool: (07) 5484 1398
Tin Can Bay Swimming Pool: (07) 5486 4077

Enquiries: (07) 5481 0655
Design Services Division: (07) 5481 0622
Maps and Plans, Street Numbering, Street Lighting, Traffic Data, Flood History Information
Water & Sewerage Division: (07) 5481 0844
Water Supply and Sewerage Operation
Works Division – Gympie Depot: (07) 5481 0899
Roads, Drainage, Noxious Weeds, Materials Lab, Parks & Gardens, Plant Hire, Road Info during Floods
Flood Information & Road Closures: (07) 5481 0899
(Also see the Gympie Flood information page)
Gympie Depot Workshop: (07) 5481 0878
Works Division – Kilkivan Depot: (07) 5484 1133
Works Division – Tin Can Bay Depot: (07) 5486 4443 Fax: (07) 5488 0891
Saleyards: (07) 5481 0780

FINANCIAL SERVICES: (07) 5481 0633
Rates Enquiries, Property Searches, Accounts Payable/Receivable, Regulated Parking

Planning Services
: (07) 5481 0644
Applications, Inspections & Enquiries – Zoning, Land Use, Subdivision & Development
Building Services: (07) 54810644
Building Applications, Inspections & Enquiries, Swimming Pools, Advertising Signs, Customer Requests
Plumbing Services: (07) 5481 0644
Plumbing applications, inspections & enquiries, Building Over Sewer applications, Domestic water & sewerage connections

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: (07) 5481 0744 Fax: (07) 5481 0749
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT: (07) 5482 5444 Fax: (07) 5482 8205

GENERAL ENQUIRIES: 1300 307800 Fax: (07) 5481 0801