The official results of the survey can be found HERE.
I was disappointed to learn that the Livingstone and Rockhampton boundary survey returned a No vote of 54.6%. The result is unfortunate for three reasons.
The first is that the people of Glenlee, Glendale, and Rockyview have now clearly stated that they want to be part of Rockhampton Council four times and still their wishes are being ignored. Of the affected localities, 58% voted Yes, but once again their voices have been swamped. Nobody likes paying rates but there is at least some comfort when you know those funds are going to the local area where you live and work. It is fair to ask why it was not a small, simple survey only of the affected residents.
The second reason why this result is disappointing is because the survey and the campaigns were conducted at significant cost but did not return any useful new data. We already knew that the northern suburbs wanted to be in Rockhampton. We already knew that most people in Rockhampton would support it and most people in Livingstone would oppose it. What we did not get from Livingstone was a plan or vision to develop the northern suburbs and grow the whole region. Questions over the efficiency and financial sustainability of smaller councils like Livingstone remain.
Lastly, it has been disappointing to watch the debate over boundaries descend into low politics. At its nadir, there was name calling and an implication that Rockhampton Council was somehow being greedy or tricky in putting a question forward. The No campaign slogans accusing Rockhampton of a land grab were historically inaccurate and have left a rift among neighbours that will take some time to heal.
Moving forward, my hope is that we can repair some of the damage done and remind ourselves that we are all Central Queenslanders, we share the beautiful Capricornia region and our political leaders serve us best when they focus on the things that unite us.