Countdown begins to release of ‘non-existent’ Rattler report
THE countdown is on to the release of the long-delayed, and at times claimed “non-existent” review of the Mary Valley Rattler’s blowout and delay-riddled resurrection.
Gympie councillors voted yesterday to release the report “when appropriate” at the last general meeting of the year.
CEO Shane Gray said he was still waiting on confirmation on when councillors themselves can peruse the document.
“I’m waiting for advice on when I can let (councillors) see it,” Mr Gray said.
“It’s been referred to another agency at the moment for review.
“I’ll pursue it and get it to the January (2021) briefing.”
The report was commissioned in April 2018 following multiple million dollar blowouts and delays to the controversial resurrection of the heritage train.
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However the report itself then became stuck in limbo, continually pushed back amid claims of possible legal action and claims from then CEO Bernard Smith it was unfinished.
Last month, Mr Gray confirmed an apparently complete copy of the report written in September 2018 had been given to the council.
Councillor Dan Stewart said in his view “those legal actions didn’t have much going for them anyway”.
“It wasn’t really worth the money.”
Mayor Glen Hartwig’s initial motion seeking councillor approval to release the report “when appropriate” was not passed untouched.
Cr Bob Fredman questioned if the motion was “premature” as the councillors had yet to read the report themselves.
“I don’t have a clue what’s in it but it could be very juicy and I’d rather work out at the time whether we release the whole thing, whether it’s redacted, (or) whether we release part of it.
“I haven’t seen it. I’m very, very interested in it and I just think as a group … we shouldn’t discuss its release (before voting to release it).
“We’ve got nothing to hide but we may have to protect ourselves.”
Mr Hartwig and Bruce Devereaux each disagreed, saying the original motions around the report provided the CEO enough grounds to make all legally required redactions before public release of the report.
The amended motion passed unanimously.