Coun­cil signs en­ter­prise body for fresh three- year agree­ment

TEL’s role re­tained

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE En­ter­prise has agreed on a new three- year fund­ing agree­ment with Townsville City Coun­cil, se­cur­ing its fu­ture as an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion.

TEL will re­ceive $ 740,000 this year as part of a new ser­vice- level agree­ment but that could in­crease with the or­gan­i­sa­tion to ask for more fund­ing to lobby for projects at the fed­eral elec­tion. TEL re­ceived $ 859,000 from coun­cil last year, in­clud­ing $ 125,000 for the state elec­tion cam­paign.

Un­der the agree­ment, TEL will re­ceive $ 305,000 each year for core ad­min­is­tra­tive tasks for the next three years, as well as ad­di­tional fund­ing for “agreed ser­vices”.

In 2015- 16, the agreed ser­vices will in­clude $ 435,000 re­lat­ing to re­gional tourism and events, re­gional de­vel­op­ment and event at­ten­dance.

Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee chair Cr Tony Par­sons said the coun­cil would con­tinue to work along­side TEL to lobby for gov­ern­ment fund­ing for ma­jor projects and in­fra­struc­ture in the city.

“A con­tin­ued ar­range­ment with TEL will en­sure that to­gether we can work to­wards greater out­comes for our city,” Cr Par­sons said.

Deputy Mayor Vern Veitch, who has pre­vi­ously flagged strip­ping TEL of its eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment role, said coun­cil couldn’t af­ford fund­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion at cur­rent lev­els.

“We’ve seen a 15 per cent re­duc­tion across the board in op­er­a­tional fund­ing for en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices in the Bud­get. I re­ally strug­gle with no re­duc­tion to Townsville En­ter­prise’s bud­get,” he said.

Mayor Jenny Hill said Cr Veitch had the op­por­tu­nity to move amend­ments to the 2015/ 16 Bud­get.

“There were op­por­tu­ni­ties to amend the Bud­get for sav­ings,” she said. “Cr Veitch did not pro­pose any amend­ments to the Bud­get nor did he pro­pose any amend­ments when the Bud­get was fi­nally adopted.”

Townsville En­ter­prise chief ex­ec­u­tive Pa­tri­cia O’Cal­laghan said the agree­ment en­abled the or­gan­i­sa­tion to fo­cus on the key pri­or­i­ties of at­tract­ing in­vest­ment, cre­at­ing jobs, boost­ing con­fi­dence and grow­ing the re­gion’s econ­omy.

“The on­go­ing sup­port … en­ables the Townsville En­ter­prise team to work on projects that mar­ket the Townsville North Queens­land re­gion as an ideal lo­ca­tion to in­vest, work, live and visit,” she said.

A con­tin­ued ar­range­ment with TEL will en­sure … we can work to­wards greater

out­comes CR TONY PAR­SONS

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