Council needs to borrow $10M to pay staff
CASH flow problems continue to plague Gympie Regional Council, with the group looking to borrow up to $10 million to cover operational costs.
Councillors are expected to endorse an application for the extra help at this week’s meeting as the fallout from the pandemic and recently revealed sub-par financial management rolls on.
The staff report said this borrowing facility was “required to manage the council’s cash flows during the 2020-21 financial year” and allow the budget to be returned to surplus.
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The cash would not be borrowed through a normal overdraft with the Commonwealth Bank, though.
The staff said this would be inappropriate “as it incurs a much higher interest rate”.
It will go through the Queensland Treasury instead.
The QTC offers a rate of 1.68 per cent.
This was “the best option … as it is cost effective and only for a short term”.
The council’s financial situation has been under the spotlight since the election.
A damning report by CPA Australia released last month revealed a staggering number of systemic issues with the council’s financial management, which it said had been “perceived as of secondary importance”.
Mayor Glen Hartwig this week said the council will have to make “very difficult decisions”.
The call to borrow is one of a dozen items on this week’s council agenda.
It is joined by a request from Councillor Dan Stewart for councillors to refuse a 2 per cent pay rise scheduled for this year, a review of standing orders and the Councillor Code of Conduct, and a request for bitumen sealing of Lowe Rd.