Ms O'CONNOR - Any time you talk to everyday Tasmanians about local government, they scratch their heads about the fact that we have 29 councils in a population of a little over half a million people. Are amalgamations part of the future of the local government review team's work and what is your view on the fact that we have 29 councils, if you are prepared to give a frank answer?
Mr STREET - My personal opinion is that 29 councils are probably too many and it is less than an ideal set-up.
Ms O'CONNOR - That's quite a rational statement, but then what's next?
Mr STREET - I don't think I'm going out on a limb there. With regard to whether amalgamations are part of the local government review, that will be identified in the interim report that comes back, I would suggest, as to whether they have identified that in their consultation with both the business and community stakeholders in the last six months. If they have identified it as one of the areas they want to drill down on in the next 12 months, it will be in the interim report and that is why I want the report, once I have considered it and taken it to Cabinet, to be publicly available, so that if amalgamations are potentially something that the review process is going to look at, both in terms of whether it is necessary or desirable or what the process would be that they would bring back to government to suggest, then that will be identified in the interim report and the public will be well aware that that's part of the work the review process is doing over the next 12 months. I don't want to do anything in secret. I don't want to send the board away to do another 12 months' work without people knowing what they're looking at -
Ms O'CONNOR - How refreshing.
Mr STREET - but I do want the opportunity to review the interim report myself first before I release it publicly.