IT IS going to be a very long eight months for Douglas ratepayers judging by the attitude of Cairns Regional Council Mayor Bob Manning and some of his councillor cohorts.
The apparent eagerness of councillors to risk hundreds of thousands of dollars in State Government funding to build a bridge over Woobadda Creek north of Cape Tribulation because ‘‘it is not right for the people of Cairns to trump up money for projects in Douglas’’ signals a very bumpy road ahead.
The decision to support council’s contribution of up to $470,000 for the bridge, expected to cost in excess of $2 million, was made at last week’s council meeting but it appears now all bets are off the table with a rescission motion next week to reverse the decision likely to be supported by the Mayor and his Unity team.
The stupid thing is, the council would likely forfeit the $430,000 already spent on the bridge concept if it pulled the plug, so essentially the recalcitrant councillors are prepared to risk $2 million in State Government funding so it can get out of potentially spending an extra $40,000 for a vital piece of infrastructure which has already been budgeted for.
If this is the council’s approach for an amount that is less than half of a councillor’s salary, let alone a budget measured in hundreds of millions, then it appears Local Government Minister David Crisafulli or his department may have to intervene to remind the council that by law it is required to govern and adequately fund projects in the Douglas region up to January 1.