NDRRA hitch led to Cook job cuts

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

COOK Shire’s sack­ing of 35 work­ers last year has been at­trib­uted by mayor Pe­ter Scott to the lack of cash­flow due to slow­ness in allocation of funds for disas­ter re­cov­ery.

“Coun­cil is heav­ily re­liant on Na­tional Disas­ter Re­lief and Re­cov­ery Ar­range­ments (NDRRA) fund­ing to re­pair in- fras­truc­ture, and par­tic­u­larly our vi­tal shire road net­work, af­ter disas­ter events,” Mr Scott told the

The coun­cil has very lit­tle in op­er­at­ing cash re­serves.

“In most cases af­ter a de­clared disas­ter we need to get credit fa­cil­i­ties to cover the re­pairs and then ap­ply to the Queens­land Re­con­struc­tion Au­thor­ity (QRA) for re­im­burse­ment,” Mr Scott said.

“A ma­jor con­cern has been the lack of surety around the el­i­gi­bil­ity of us­ing coun­cil labour and equip­ment to do the NDRRA work.

“This has been on and off for some years and the lack of for­ward com­mit­ment re­sulted in coun­cil be­ing forced to make staff re­dun­dant last year.

“The re­cent Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion Re­view has been look­ing at bet­ter ways of get­ting the NDRRA money out, and that in­cludes a for­ward bet­ter­ment and re­silience pro­gram, so im­por­tant ar­eas such as the Bloom­field Track could be im­proved to a stan­dard that they don’t wash out and need­ing gravel re-sheet­ing af­ter each wet sea­son event.”

Cook Shire Mayor Pe­ter Scott

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