Sourcing funds a key problem
FORTY-FIVE per cent of the Gympie region is made up of State Government owned land such as forestry or parks; a fact that dramatically reduces the council's rate base and ability to fill its coffers.
This was cited by more than one councillor this week as one of the biggest challenges facing the local authority 100 days after the election, along with increasing operational costs, commuity expectations and natural disasters.
The ongoing issue of increased responsibility heaped on Local Government by State and Federal Government was a challenge some thought was not going to go away, but others thought could be eased by building a better working relationship with the new State Government at least.
"A wet summer followed by a wet winter has caused major delays in dealing with maintenance of all roads, particularly our rural gravel roads," Cr Larry Friske said.
Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett said gaining a double-lane highway between Gympie and Brisbane was critical to the region's population growth and prosperity, but that the arrival of Bunnings was proof "this region has been identified as an area of high value and economic potential and growth".
Another challenge faced by the council occurred with amalgamation when the road network doubled, but the rate base was boosted by just 2000.