DESPITE receiving WRC’s on line financials description in China, I only got the numbers last week to comprehend their “explanation” of April’s $25m deficit being turned into a $50m surplus in May, and, oh WRC “found” ~“$30m of capital grants”, completed a standard accounting capitalization of $60m of their recurrent capital works spend so May’s financials now show the “always obvious surplus” it’s taken 9 months for this new regime to post. And “April YTD budget” is transformed from a $40m deficit, to (another) revised $12m YTD budget surplus.
The previous mob’s ~$18m budget surplus is looking good (despite a $21m overspend). WRC credibility gap widens. A $15m refund of 2010 NDRRA due in March, reset for May has again lapsed to August despite the CEO’s March report “all 2010 work, was ceased by him 8th October 2012 and “all reviews and investigations have been conducted”. Three years on we’re still waiting for an o/s $15m. Year-end cash would’ve shown $34m in the bank, if >90 days debtors were managed. NDRRA is hugely important, as it’s free to ratepayers. Is the $66m balance of 2011 NDRRA still available to us? WRC motioned 31st October, 14th November and reaffirmed by the CEO March 13th, to report monthly. 4 months later no report.
May’s cash flows, show little through June and only ~$20m spend to February 2014. Remember its part of a “free” $220m of Fed/State government monies recommended to upgrade our roads over 3 years. It would’ve been provisioned in State/Federal government coffers, but we risk losing $40-$50m. Inevitably ratepayers will have to pay, or we accept poorer roads.
Conclusions QLD Treasury came to in March are now shown based on the same incomplete gyrating financial forecasts this regime trots out every month. After letting go the safe hands of the previous financial and engineering knowledge and NDRRA leadership inactivity, this looks like costing us much more than a poorly negotiated $18m overspend on $154m of free roads delivered by the previous mob. WRC was never in the “most distressed council status” where some of this new mob apparently did their apprenticeship. With the new COO/engineer also “let go”, I wonder who’s next? John W Barnes BOWEN