Bud­get blow-out

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

IT IS now very clear why we’ve got 18-100% in­crease in rates across the re­gion and fac­ing a $16.5m bud­get deficit. WRC’s road­show has fi­nally iden­ti­fied the wa­ter and sewerage plants will cost $106m.

Barely a year ago, Mayor Jen­nifer sent us our “big­gest bud­get adopted in WRC his­tory” home glossy.

“In my first bud­get, I am con­fi­dent with the di­rec­tion of the coun­cil” she lauded the ac­com­pa­ny­ing no­tice “$85m to build W and S by mid-2013”.

Yet CEO Scott replies; “no that was wrong John”.

So then who is re­spon­si­ble CEO Scott and Mayor Jen­nifer, for the now de­clared “$25m cap­i­tal over­spend (in­clud­ing Air­lie Beach) in the last 15 months and road­show de­clared $30m un­spent from 2011 NDRRA, that just six months ago you said $85m was avail­able.

The loss of this huge $30m po­ten­tial road money in­jec­tion into the lo­cal con­trac­tor econ­omy when it needed it most, is just as un­for­giv­able as th­ese over­spends.

For­get about the com­plaints of re­ward­ing WRC em­ploy­ees with a few $’s of Satur­day over­time on NDRRA, this road­show shows this WRC has lost it when it comes to ef­fec­tively man­ag­ing our “mil­lions”.

When you add this to the $18m “with­out-a-whim­per-debt-con­ces­sion” by this regime to al­low a far­ci­cal CMC in­ves­ti­ga­tion/blame game of the past regime’s $18 over­spend on $160m of “free” road money they de­liv­ered, $2.5m of bla­tant em­ployee over­spends in 2012-13, we’ve got $75m+ racked up by this in­ex­pe­ri­enced WRC.

Isn’t it about time all this cur­rent WRC regime faced up to its own gross fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment?

Pub­lic ap­a­thy to WRRA/Chris Mon­sour’s ef­forts to hold them ac­count­able, fore­casts a long two and a half year wait. John Barnes BOWEN

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