LOGAN mayor Luke Smith says things were difficult after the amalgamation of local governments in Queensland but there were benefits to being the seventh biggest city in Australia.
Cr Smith was speaking ahead of the 10th anniversary tomorrow (Thursday) of the amalgamation.
As the number of local governments across the state dropped from 157 to 73, Logan grew from 229 to 957 square kilometres overnight. It took over 51 per cent of the old Beaudesert area and 8 per cent of the Gold Coast.
“We went from having a $300 million budget to having a $500 million budget. We went from having 175,000 residents represented to having 261,000 residents,” Cr Smith said. “It made us geographically larger than Singapore.”
Cr Smith said the amalgamation had enabled Logan to be financially sound and ensured a good future for the city. “That’s what people should see as a benefit of being part of Logan. We are a big city. We have the third largest budget of any city in Australia. We have the capability financially to make sure infrastructure goes ahead.”
The council inherited two priority development areas and had to amalgamate rates systems and planning schemes.
“It was a tough, tough period of time, that transitional period, for local government generally,” Cr Smith said.
“We saw it as a forced amalgamation, as did residents. It wasn’t a choice that councils made.”
Cr Smith said residents of the Jimboomba district were frustrated but had increasingly embraced the council’s vision.
“As time has progressed the voice of concern has got less. There are still going to be some disgruntled people, but there are fewer than there were.”
The mayor said much infrastructure put in by the previous Beaudesert council was poor or incorrect.
“It cost the city $200 million initially underground to repair, replace or ensure there would be sewerage and water in future.
“Even though we would say to people ‘we are spending $200 million in your area’ there was no change to parks, no change to roads.”
Cr Smith paid tribute to staff who had helped with the transition. “The staff trod water for a very long time and did a phenomenal job to get us where we are today. It was a tough 10 years.”
- Chambers Flat Road upgrade
- Upgrades to Teviot, New Beith and Stoney Camp roads and Cusack Lane
- Water infrastructure
- Replacement of timber bridges
- Upgrades to Jimboomba Park sporting facilities
- New suburbs declared
- CCTV installed
- 1842: Logan area settled by Europeans
- 1978: Logan Shire announced – formed from parts of the Beaudesert and Albert shires because of urban development in the area
- 1979: Local government elections held and Logan City Council begins operations
- 1981: Logan declared a city
- 2002: Logan Entertainment Centre opens
- 2008: Logan’s boundaries expand to include parts of Beaudesert Shire and Gold Coast City
- 2013: City celebrates 150th anniversary of settlement at Logan Village
- 2014: Logan’s population reaches 300,000
- 2015: Eats and Beats launched
- 2015: First planning scheme for the new city implemented
- 2015: $18 million Chambers Flat Road upgrade, the largest single project in the council’s history, begins