Mayor calls for investigation into $7m Rattler blowout
THE latest blowout to the Mary Valley Rattler's budget has prompted Gympie Regional Council to launch an investigation into how the start-up costs got so far out of control.
The review will be conducted by an independent group, and will examine what caused the series of cost rises which have plagued the tourism icons revival.
While the price to bring the Rattler back was first announced as $10.8 million in early 2017, a series of blowouts has caused it to explode to an expected $17.5 million.
Mayor Mick Curran, who said after the Rattler's second blow out in December that $14.5 million would be the final cost, is "extremely disappointed” by how everything has unfolded.
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"Quite obviously this project was to be delivered by council to the community in December last year,” Cr Curran said.
"We've seen not only overruns in time but also in the cost.”
However, he said this was not about playing a blame game.
"It's not an exercise to throw anyone under the bus.”
"It's an exercise to identify and confirm areas that we currently believe have been deficient,” he said.
And with the long-awaited Bruce Highway Gympie bypass now funded, Cr Curran defended the need to have the heritage train back on the tracks.
"It goes without saying that Gympie needs to have the facility, the projects underway to entice the people using the new bypass to come into Gympie,” he said.
"Putting the extra cost into context, council has spent more money on road projects this forward year by improving Hall Rd, Old Maryborough Rd, Anderleigh Rd, and Tagigan Rd.
"This project, in my opinion, is needed for this community and will be a very successful in not only driving people not only to Gympie and the Mary Valley, but will allow us to showcase the whole region.”
The report is expected to be delivered to the council in July.