Financial strain hits council

GYMPIE Mayor Ron Dyne says $8 million has already been spent on flood repairs, while only $3 million has come from the government to help cover costs. And the money is starting to run out.

He will talk to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority about cash flow issues and the need to undertake more works soon.

Emergent work on flood damage, finished on April 18, revealed a Gympie Council report by Director of Engineering Services Bob Fredman in Tuesday’s Works and Services Committee meeting.

The report said accounts were still flowing in but the total cost of emergency repairs after the flood would be in the vicinity of $10 million. Add to that work in the post-emergent period, which is hovering around the $15 million mark and you start to get an idea of how much flood recovery will cost.

About $1.5 million worth of council staff wage costs during the emergent works are ineligible for government funding, but may yet be subsidised if state government lobbying is successful.

Mr Fredman wrote the cost of post-emergent works was also likely to increase with time as road failures extended with continued road use and more jobs were added to the repair list.

The council has applied for early approval to restore Amamoor Creek Rd as a matter of priority due to the closeness of the Gympie Music Muster.

Cr Dyne will also discuss this with the QRA, and has told fellow councillors it was imperative works started soon as the Music Muster was only three months away. Funding for other jobs will be applied for so works can continue across the region, but the council’s finance department has flagged financial strain.

Mr Fredman told councillors at Tuesday’s Works and Services Committee meeting work could start straight away on Amamoor Creek Rd.

“We’re ready to go…but we need the use the mayor to get the ball rolling,” he said.

Cr Tony Perrett said a large chunk of ratepayers’ money had been used and the government needed to help.

Gympie Times

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