Gold Coast to remain with Council of Mayors


THE city council has reinforced its commitment to stay as a contributing member of the controversial organisation, the Council of Mayors ? controversial because of differing opinions on the present water supply debate and loud criticism by one or two mayors of the Gold Coast's water conservation policies.

However, a strong move by Burleigh Heads-based councillor Greg Betts for council to divorce itself from the mayoral group (representing 13 local authorities of south-east Queensland) did gain attention.

Cr Betts said he thought it wrong for Gold Coast ratepay- ers to be financially contributing to what was just one more bureaucracy which had officers running around writing reports and he doubted if issues taken up by the Council of Mayors were of significant benefit to the Gold Coast.

Membership to the Council of Mayors costs each council $170,000 and Gold Coast has agreed to an additional $21,120 towards the cost of employing a regional plan coordinator.

In response to Cr Betts' bid to drop the association, Mayor Cr Ron Clarke, who has clashed with some of the mayors on a number of occasions, advised council it was far better to stay with the organisation than to leave it.

He said without the Gold Coast the organisation may well falter.

"There have been obvious benefits, such as the organisation's strong and successful bid for improvements to the M1 road system."

The Council of Mayors (SEQ) replaced the former South East Queensland Regional Organisations of Councils (SEQROC) in September last year.

The reason was to make a rather unwieldy group more streamlined and workable .

The new organisation began almost to a baptism of fire with a water supply crisis on its hands. The city council's membership will be reviewed in a year's time.

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