Investigation call on council spending
A FORMAL investigation should be held into the financial management of the former Gympie Regional Council administration, ex-councillor Ian Petersen said this morning.
He was commenting on revelations by mayor Glen Hartwig that the council would have to borrow $10 to $12 million to continue operating over the next 14 months.
Cr Petersen said there were several state government agencies which could conduct investigations into council finances and councillor behaviour.
“It’s not just a blame game. Councillors need to know the exact situation, something which seems to have been very clouded under the previous council.
“People say it will cost money and it will. But we need to know.
“It ideally needs to be something of a state government departmental inquiry that doesn’t cost the council money.
“Councillors need to have a solid foundation to build on.
They need a line in the sand, so they know the true position of council and what they have to face.
“It could be a departmental inquiry by the Local Government Department or the Queensland Audit Office, perhaps the Crime and Corruption commission or the Office of the independent Assessor (which investigates the behaviour of individual councillors).”
Cr Petersen, who was Finance Committee chairman under the previous Cooloola Shire Council, said the council at that time had been assessed as one of Queensland’s most financially sustainable councils
“We actually reduced the rates take in, I think, 2005 and in 2006 we maintained that level.
“Those were the days of living within our means and keeping rates genuinely low, without the smoke and mirrors of recent years.”