A review on the Cairns Regional Council’s capital works budget for this current financial year has revealed three major projects for the Douglas region have had funds deferred.
The Killaloe Transfer Station shed was supposed to have public disposal bays built with $120,000 approved in this year’s budget but the money has been removed.
In the review it said the reason was: ‘‘Project deferred until the Transfer Station Masterplan is completed and the results analysed.’’
Already about $600,000 has been spent on investigating and developing a 20ML reservoir and dedicated inlet and outlet mains for Port Douglas and although land has been valued and work has started with engineers and surveyors, the project has been deferred.
‘‘Budget released as construction will not commence until 2013/2014 as land acquisitions are still underway,’’ the review said.
Both projects had been previously approved by the former Douglas Shire Council and had no opposition when they were previously approved last year before Douglas decided to deamalgamate.
Also in the budget, $1.8 million had been allocated for the Woobadda Creek crossing, however, over $450,000 of the funds have been deferred to 13/14 and 14/15 financial years, with no explanation. The remaining $1.2 million allocation is funds from a State Government grant.
Division 10 Councillor Julia Leu said the decision to defer funds on major projects in the Douglas region raised many questions over whether this will become a common occurrence until January 1 when a new Douglas Shire Council takes the reins.
‘‘I am very concerned that major projects that have already been approved in previous CRC budgets are apparently being deferred without adequate explanation or to the future transition manager,’’ she said.
‘‘In the case of the Port Douglas reservoir, this decision was made by a council officer without reference to council, until I asked a question at the last council meeting on March 20.’’
Cr Leu said she would continue to follow up questions raised about the decision to defer major projects and said if need be, she would be taking her concerns directly to Local Government Minister David Crisafulli.