Council living beyond its means

Rod Green
Rod Green

COUNCIL candidate Rod Green says if the organisation continues to spend money at the rate it has over the past four years it will never be able to pay off its debts.

Mr Green, who was a councillor in the Rockhampton City Council days, says he believes the authority is financially unsustainable in the long term.

"Over the past four years the council has paid about $50 million in interest as the debt has increased from $81.7 million to $197 million," he said.

The Regional Independents group, of which he is a member, argue that the council is paying only $4.5 million a year of its debt which is continuing to grow.

"Why then has the council asked for, and has been approved by, Queensland Treasury for another $41.5 million on top of its current debt for this year alone?

"It is financially unsustainable in the long term.

"Why do we have the highest debt levels ever but our infrastructure like our roads, our water and our council buildings are worse?

"Some things have to change and change quickly. It cannot all be blamed on amalgamation, as at the time, this council requested only $8 million compensation from the state government."

Mr Green said the new council had to reduce its expenses while increasing the rate base by expanding the population at the same time.

He believes councillors should insist on a review of the use of contractors and consultants.

"In the last 18 months it has spent $3million on contract traffic controllers. Four years ago council staff did that job."

He said mayoral candidate Lea Taylor's Regional Independents were committed to listening to the council workforce and acting upon suggestions from them.

"The question is, will the other mayoral candidates make that pledge."

Mr Green is challenging Cr Greg Belz in Division 6.

Topics:  rockhampton regional council spending

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