Hill deserves credit
LIKE Mark Molachino ( TB letters 26/ 6/ 15) I too was astonished at the prepared outburst by Cr Parsons at the Budget council meeting on 24 June.
It struck me as a veritable diatribe against the present mayor and a self- congratulatory paean for Townsville First.
In it he mentioned $ 105m deficit, but the CEO had to inform him this was over a 10year period. The deficit at the 2012 new council was $ 56m.
It appears to me that many members of council do not know the difference between deficit and debt. The deficit was dwelt on at length by Cr Parsons and the glorious efforts that they ( Team Tyrell, now Townsville First essentially) had done to reduce it. I do not recall any appreciation being given to the mayor for deficit reduction since 2012.
What council members may not realise is that debt is a more pernicious problem than deficits – both State and Commonwealth governments desperately try to reduce debt – which is a long- term effect as against a deficit, an annual effect ( there you have it now councillors – do you get it now?).
It is the debt, with loans taken over 20 years, that has the long- term repayment effect on ratepayers – for 20 years! The more borrowings a council makes ( for infrastructure pushed by developers, high end of town) the more the loan repayments and the more the rate rises – developers would not be interested in this aspect.
Most people, I feel, would believe in modest growth and balanced budgets.
From QTC ( 30 June) the TCC debt for years 2007- 2014 were $ 64.37m, $ 207.14m, $ 205.042m, $ 387.396, $ 403.703m, $ 419.152m, $ 393.473m, $ 388.311m. This consolidated data can be seen on the IR ( inspectorrex. net) website – derived from QTC. There was a jump from $ 64.37m in 2007 to $ 207.14 in 2008 due to more borrowing.
But on 15 March 2008 there was a ( 1) TCC election, ( 2) Amalgamation of TCC and Thuringowa CC and ( 3) abolition of NQ Water which carried a debt of $ 112.103m. This debt would have been absorbed by the newly enlarged TCC, hence a jump in debt in 2008. A graph of these historical debts can also be seen on the IR website.
On 8 March 2008, then Candidate Les Tyrell for mayor, was reported in the Bulletin: “Mayoral candidate Les Tyrell says he has the strategy to tackle Townsville’s $ 101.4 million debt problem”. Thus from his statement the debt, over his administration quadrupled from $ 101.4m to $ 419.152m. Although the debt of NQ Water was absorbed, the debt under Mayor Tyrell doubled from $ 207.14m on taking office, to $ 419.152m. That is why we all got large rates and charges increases. The borrowings were for the 5 major projects Team Tyrell, alias Townsville First, were so proud of.
No credit was given by Cr Parsons to current Mayor Hill for reversing the Tyrell upward debt problem, reducing it.
I have given a more elaborate description of these matters to Crs Blom and Walker.
R. L. AGACY,