The first shires to vote in the council plebiscites have delivered a resounding 'no' to the Queensland's Government's plans for amalgamations.
The postal voting for the six urban shires participating closed last Friday, with the 'no' case clearly winning the day in all six.
"These results send a strong and crystal clear message that voters don't want their councils amalgamated and the State Labor Government needs to go back to the drawing board to ensure communities are properly consulted and involved in the future direction of their local governments," Opposition local government spokesman, Howard Hobbs, said.
But Local Government Minister, Warren Pitt, said the results would have no bearing on the amalgamation process, which was already well advanced.
"I assure those who might still be wishfully thinking that the government will change its mind on the amalgamations that this simply is not going to happen," Mr Pitt said.
But Local Government Association of Queensland executive director, Greg Hallam, said the State Government would be gambling with its future at the next election, given the Opposition's pledge to undo unwanted amalgamations.
The results of the six shires counted so far are:
* Noosa Shire: 69pc of eligible voters participated, of which 95pc voted 'no';
* Redcliffe City Council: 58pc of eligible voters participated, of which 86pc voted 'no';
* Caloundra City Council: 52pc of eligible voters participated, of which 69pc voted 'no';
* Caboolture Shire Council: 46pc of eligible voters participated, of which 62pc voted 'no';
* Pine Rivers Shire Council: 49pc of eligible voters participated, of which 73pc voted 'no'; and
* Gold Coast City Council: 54pc of eligible voters participated, of which 81pc voted 'no'.
The ballots for the remaining 79 rural and regional shires participating in the plebiscites must be received by the Australian Electoral Commission by 2pm Friday, December 14.
SOURCE: Extract from full report to appear in Queensland Country Life, December 13 issue.