Coun­cil on the road to ex­plain bud­get

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

WHIT­SUN­DAY Re­gional Coun­cil is hold­ing a series of pub­lic fo­rums to ex­plain the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year’s bud­get.

The fo­rums, called the One Re­gion Bud­get Road­show, will be held in Can­non­vale, Proser­pine, Bowen and Collinsville over the next two weeks.

This fol­lows a meet­ing in Bowen with some ratepay­ers and or­gan­i­sa­tions last week. The meet­ing in­cluded many con­tro­ver­sial top­ics in­clud­ing the new wa­ter charges and the Coun­cil’s cur­rent loan re­pay­ments.

There was also con­cern about the lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween Coun­cil and ratepay­ers.

Mayor Whit­ney said the meet­ing cov­ered nu­mer­ous top­ics and in­volved lengthy dis­cus­sions with each stake­holder group given the op­por­tu­nity to ex­press their con­cerns and pro­vide feed­back.

She said some peo­ple at the meet­ing had gen­uine con­cerns.

“We’ve met with busi­ness and in­dus­try stake­hold­ers, and we’ll now be mov­ing to the broader com­mu­nity with the road­show, re­view­ing the con­cerns raised,” she said.

Cr Whit­ney says the road­show would pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to “di­rectly en­gage with our com­mu­nity and en­sure that they have ac­cess to ac­cu­rate, fac­tual in­for­ma­tion and that their con­cerns are ad­dressed”.

Mean­while, Bowen res­i­dent Chris Mon­sour is still plan­ning to hold a meet­ing in Air­lie Beach to ex­plain his per­spec­tive on Coun­cil’s bud­get and the new rates and charges.

Mr Mon­sour is an agri­cul­tural sci­en­tist with his own con­sul­tancy busi­ness and he has par­tic­u­lar con­cerns about the new wa­ter charges and says there should have been more com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion be­fore such a ma­jor change.

He said he be­came in­ter­ested in this is­sue af­ter see­ing his own rates no­tice and do­ing his own cal­cu­la­tions.

Mr Mon­sour has not yet con­firmed a date and venue for his meet­ing. He has al­ready held pub­lic meet­ings in Bowen and Collinsville.

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