Rural councils close satisfaction gap
RURAL councils have received their best reviews since the amalgamations in a state-wide survey on local governance.
The 2017 Local Government Association of Queensland Community Satisfaction Tracking Study found respondents in rural areas were happier with their how their councils were performing now than in any study since 2009.
In contrast the survey found people living in Brisbane, fringe metropolitan councils and regional city councils were less satisfied with their councils than at the last survey in 2015.
But rural council's performance rating increased from 65.95% in 2015 to 68.6% in this year's survey.
The two-yearly survey asked 700 Queenslanders to rate how important they found council duties on a scale of one to five, with one the lowest and five the highest. They were then asked to rate their council's performance on the same scale.
Their responses were then weighted to create an overall performance percentage.
The report said although rural councils had "never achieved the highest overall performance rating", for the first time they were within striking distance of the other council categories.
Rural councils include Southern Downs, Gympie, Livingstone, South Burnett, Western Downs and most other councils not centred on a city.
LGAQ chief Greg Hallam said for the first-time rural residents were as happy as their city counterparts with how their councils were performing.
"We are close to the long-term average for this study, for all of the council categories," he said.
"The rurals are experiencing the first big shift in sentiment in 10 years."
The rural council category includes small cities and towns as well as most local government areas outside of Queensland's major cities.