Services down, fees up: this council not up to the job
Letter to the Editor
IT IS overwhelmingly evident that Gympie Regional Council is incapable of providing even the basic services required of a regional government organisation and should therefore have their role in local government reviewed with a view to reducing their area of responsibility to one commensurate with their demonstrated lack of skills and abilities.
Indeed, in light of the reduction in council services and imposition of fees and charges during recent years with more fictional content than Aesop's fables, it is arguable whether the title of Gympie Town Council would be an overstatement of council's abilities.
As rural ratepayers, we do not enjoy the benefit of town water, sewerage, drainage, street lighting, kerbing, sealed roads or even a waste collection service. \
According to council's waste services manager, due to safety issues associated with the construction of our road, including lack of a suitable turning area, our "council maintained" road is not even fit to be traversed by a garbage truck for the purpose of effecting a kerbside waste collection service.
Council's definition of a "maintained road" now obviously means that repair work is undertaken on a contingency basis as the result of overwhelming complaints (currently about once every three years).
Little wonder that residents performing road repairs using agricultural machinery and even buckets and shovels (at their own expense, in the absence of reparatory action by council) has become an increasingly regular sight.
Waste collection is a non-event, after systematically reducing the operating hours of the Imbil dump, initially from 7 to 5 days and now 4 days per week accompanied by increased charges to compensate for the inconvenience.
The alternative "cluster collection service" also appears to have stalled without further action.
Perhaps council is unaware of the health and safety issues associated with mounting piles of uncollected garbage and would prefer residents to assist them by delivering their uncollected waste to council's offices in Mary St to avoid the inconvenience and cost of mounting a waste collection service.
Ratepayer funded renovations and purchase of council premises accompanied by the systematic reduction of council services, are indicative of a council attempting to operate well beyond both its means and capabilities.
Possible contributing factors include promotion of people lacking the necessary skills, competence and expertise to fulfil the roles into which they have been placed and/or general apathy and mismanagement.
Clearly there is a lack of knowledge of the "standard of excellence" required of local government officers by the Local Government Act and it would appear that the sensible solution would involve initiation of a campaign to have local government boundaries redrawn with a view to reducing the responsibilities of Gympie Regional Council to the servicing of an area commensurate with their capabilities and expertise.