Lose the levy

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

THE mas­sive cap­i­tal works ex­pen­di­ture taken up in the last 5 years is with­out doubt the rea­son why WRC is in such a del­i­cate fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion. Enor­mous rate and util­i­ties in­crease is the in­evitable con­se­quence of hav­ing spent big on those cap­i­tal works. It is a re­al­ity of life that if one bor­rows money one has to re­pay the money at a later date.

We have to ques­tion the wis­dom, the fore­sight, the com­pe­tency, the in­tegrity of the team that em­bark in such a mas­sive cap­i­tal works ex­pen­di­ture. That team con­sisted of Brunker, Whit­ney, Clark, Ra­m­age, Clif­ford and a few oth­ers. I have to men­tion that Will­cox, Collins and Collins were not part of that Coun­cil of Ori­gin team.

The past 5 years cap­i­tal works can be clas­si­fied in three cat­e­gories. The works taken up out of ne­ces­sity, which is wa­ter and sewage plants. The works taken up out of lux­ury which is Bowen front beach and Air­lie main street. And the NDRRA bet­ter­ment work taken up out of sheer stu­pid­ity.

It is my opin­ion that our glo­ri­ous team mis­man­age the coun­cil fi­nance and showed a def­i­nite lack of judg­ment by de­cid­ing to bor­row for such lux­ury items as the Bowen front beach and Air­lie main street, in the knowl­edge that the wa­ter and sewage plants would, on their own, stretch coun­cil fi­nance. It is also my opin­ion that the in­el­i­gi­ble NDRRA work ($19mil­lions) that lead to the $140 levy was more than mis­man­age­ment. There is an el­e­ment of pre­med­i­ta­tion on the part of still face­less in­di­vid­ual(s) that knew dam well that bet­ter­ment (curb, pavers, flower beds) was not el­i­gi­ble flood re­pair. The NDRRA guide­lines are so clear that some in­di­vid­ual had to know that the Coun­cil was not al­lowed to spend some of the grant money on bet­ter­ment.

As a ratepayer, I have a choice, ei­ther I cop the lot, shut up and for­get the whole thing, or I keep try­ing to fig­ure out what hap­pen and do some­thing about it. I say let's go af­ter the per­son(s) re­spon­si­ble for the in­el­i­gi­ble NDRRA work, in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter us­ing Slater Gor­don Lawyers, and maybe be­gin a class ac­tion to re­coup our 19 mil­lions. “Let’s lose the levy”. Denis Couture BOWEN

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