Council doesn’t support Sarina Range idea

Published: 25 Sep 2019

Mackay Regional Council can see no compelling reason to support the idea of a local government boundary realignment to move the Sarina Range area to Isaac Regional Council.

That is the advice council will provide to the Sarina Range Community Association Incorporated after considering the matter at an ordinary meeting today.

Any decision on local government boundary changes rests with the State Government’s Local Government Minister following a Change Commission process, not councils.

The Sarina Range Community Association Incorporated’s Boundary Change Sub Committee has formally requested council’s position before considering further possible actions.

It is believed the association also requested Isaac Regional Council’s position.

Mayor Greg Williamson said council had met with representatives of the Sarina Range Community Association previously and received a letter formally requesting its views.

He said the area in question was about 470 square kilometres and included 144 rateable properties.

“Our staff have undertaken a comprehensive assessment of matters raised in the association’s letter, ranging from geographical to economic and social fit considerations.

“There does not appear to be a compelling argument for council to support the concept of such a boundary change, which would see Sarina Range become part of Isaac Regional Council.”

For example, Sarina Range is 24kms and 23 minutes of travel time to Sarina, 31kms and 29 minutes to Koumala and 60km and 53 minutes to Mackay.

In comparison, Sarina Range is 69km and 46 minutes to Nebo, 84 kilometres and more than an hour to Carmila, and 154km and more than one-and-a-half hours to Moranbah.

“That suggests there is no close or readily accessible community interest more accessible via Isaac Regional Council than the status quo,’’ Cr Williamson said.

“This is important with regards to services ranging from waste disposal to Emergency Management.”

Property rates values and costs can’t be used as a justifiable reason for a local government boundary change and were not raised in the association’s letter.