Lose the levy
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