Lea Taylor.
Lea Taylor. CHRIS ISON

Council must come clean

LEA Taylor says Rockhampton Regional Council should come clean about its potential liabilities before voters go to the polls at the end of the month.

The mayoral candidate, who has pledged to reduce the council's debt, said those who are seeking office deserved to know how much the council's various legal actions were likely to cost.

"I understand that if the council loses just one of the cases going through the courts, the ratepayers will have to pick up a bill in the area of $8 million," he said.

"This council has become embroiled in unnecessary legal actions which are likely to be very costly. Those of us who are running for a position on the council deserve to know, and so do the public."

Mr Taylor said the council was still fighting a claim through the courts after refusing to pay Bailey Civil Contractors for the work it carried out on the Yeppoon pipeline.

The council had signed off on the work and was acting unreasonably, he said.

"The attitude we have seen in the last four years has been very damaging to the region's reputation and could well be very damaging financially.

"It's astounding that it would rather go through the courts than talk to people and negotiate."

Last year, Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson referred to the Bailey case in the Queensland Parliament and criticised the council for its action and attitude.

He accused the council of illegally withholding the release of the contractor's $750,000 bank guarantee "purely to frustrate and antagonise the contractor, while abusing and exploiting ratepayers with a costly and unnecessary Supreme Court proceeding."

Mr Taylor said a new mayor and councillors would have to sort out a terrible mess and would not be able to budget accurately because of the threat of hefty legal costs.



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