Buy a donga, says timber man
A ROCKHAMPTON businessman yesterday suggested the mayor should buy a donga instead of taking away one of Rockhampton's most iconic tourism buildings for temporary council office space.
Ken Hay, owner of KNS Timber, has thrown his support behind Deputy Mayor Rose Swadling, who believes spending almost $300,000 to temporarily house councillors and staff at Customs House is a waste.
Cr Carter is keen on the move to alleviate overcrowding at City Hall, where office staff are working in corridors for lack of space.
“I suggest they hire a donga like the hospital staff and teachers do. It's a waste of ratepayers' money,” Mr Hay said.
He said the staffing situation was a spin-off of the amalgamation, but the mayor hadn't done enough to recoup the millions the process had cost.
Mr Hay said the mayor should have done more after the minister for local government advised the council the new Rockhampton Regional Council was in good shape financially and the Government wouldn't reimburse the $8 million cost.
Mr Hay believes the proposed move to Customs House was a “touch of snobbery”.
“Customs House is an icon to the city and it ought to be used for the tourism industry,” he said. “I support Cr Rose Swadling 100% because it's the ratepayers that have to fork out the costs.”
Mr Hay said like Cr Swadling, he also believed costings would blow out far beyond the $300,000 estimate.
Council yesterday advised the Mayor had gone on leave and wouldn't return until next week. The Morning Bulletin was unsuccessful in attempts to call his mobile.