The Queensland state government has decided to merge the twin cities of Townsville and Thuringowa.
In a move that will cut the number of local councils by more than half in Queensland the state government has begun the process of merging many of the smaller councils into regional councils. The number of Queensland councils will go from 156 to 72 with elections being help in March of next year.
Considering that Townsville and Thuringowa are virtually indistinguishable from one another I don’t find this move to be all that surprising. The new city will be called “Townsville” and the only remembrance that there will be of the name Thuringowa will be one of the suburbs called “Thuringowa Central”. We will go from two councils of 1 mayor and 10 councellors each, to one council with one mayor and 12 councellors. The total population will be about 164,000.
There are about 55 different businesses in Thuringowa that use the city name in their trading name. It will be interesting to see what happens to them, but quite a few have already expressed the fact that they will likely not be changing their name immediately.
I’m not sure that this will mean to building here in Townsville. There are reports already that some developers are putting a temporary hold on building project until things become a bit more clear. One of the biggest worries is that the two councils coming together will not be able to make decisions that benefit the entire city, but they will instead try only to serve their former city.
(Hopefully) our project should be completed, or at least mostly so, before the amalgamation of Townsville and Thuringowa happens in March of next year (2008). Already in the 19-months since our project was approved we have seen regulations change, so hopefully we won’t see too many more changes to building guidelines and regulations before the end of the building project. I’ll write more about some of those changes later.