Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith (pictured here with Mayor Mick Curran [right]) has been given an increased monetary limit to the size of council contracts he can enter into.
Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith (pictured here with Mayor Mick Curran [right]) has been given an increased monetary limit to the size of council contracts he can enter into. Renee Albrecht

Gympie's CEO gets raise on his spending limit

COUNCILLORS have agreed to raise the spending limit for Gympie Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith, but at a much lower level than proposed.

While it was proposed Mr Smith be authorised to enter contracts worth up to $1 million, an amended motion from Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch instead capped it out at $500,000.

Debate centred on what exact power it gave the CEO, especially in the current political climate.

RELATED: Gympie CEO's spending power could soar 350%

Cr Mark McDonald supported the original limit, noting the change did not give the CEO carte blanche to buy a bulldozer and high-tail it down to Victoria.

Councillor Mark McDonald says the increased limit does not allow the CEO to take one of these and vanish to Victoria.
Councillor Mark McDonald says the increased limit does not allow the CEO to take one of these and vanish to Victoria. Jen Tybell

Cr Daryl Dodt said increasing the limit would reduce procurement delays which "cost the council a lot of extra money”.

Staff also noted the increase had been suggested by an audit into the council's procurement efficiency and not asked for by Mr Smith.

It was a detail which left Cr Dan Stewart questioning the flow of information.

"It would have been really helpful if that (report) had been provided or discussed in workshops,” Cr Stewart said.

He would have liked to "see the reasoning”, he said, and that ultimately "there has been a process issue here”.

The increase was adopted 5-4, with Crs Stewart, Bob Fredman, Glen Hartwig and Hilary Smerdon voting against.

Gympie Times


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