News

Council in crisis

PLAIN TALKING: Discovering the extent of Council's debt over the 2010 NDRRA program was the topic of some frank talking by CEO Scott Waters and mayor Jennifer Whitney in the general business section of yesterday's ordinary Council meeting.
PLAIN TALKING: Discovering the extent of Council's debt over the 2010 NDRRA program was the topic of some frank talking by CEO Scott Waters and mayor Jennifer Whitney in the general business section of yesterday's ordinary Council meeting.
WHITSUNDAY Regional Council is being investigated by the State Government following the revelation of an overspend in the 2010 National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) program that could amount to an unfunded liability of between $8-25 million for this financial year.    Council issued a press release late on Friday stating ratepayers would "long feel the effects of a spending spree by the former administration who oversaw gross overspending, committing Council to projects far beyond its capacity to deliver".   Mayor Jennifer Whitney said she was "shocked and appalled at the extent of fiscal ineptitude demonstrated by the former administration pushing projects through Council prior to the election" and she said the region's ratepayers simply couldn't afford it.   Cr Whitney said she had questioned council expenditure for years "and it's extensively documented that I'd continually stated we were living well beyond our means".    "However, no-one could foresee the extent of the turmoil we'll have to clean up and unfortunately this may just be the tip of the iceberg" she said.   Cr Whitney said a couple of weeks ago the Queensland Reconstruction Authority became aware of some on-ground reconstruction works completed by Council that were potentially outside of the scope originally approved in 2010 by the then Department of Local Government and Planning.   She explained works outside of this scope would not be eligible for reimbursement under NDRRA.   "They gave us about $87 million and we've spent $103.5 million to date, which is increasing and what's happened is we have to wear the difference," she said.    At yesterday's Council meeting in Proserpine a motion was passed that Council authorise the newly appointed CEO Scott Waters to review strategies for refunding the debt.   

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Woodchopper shows his strength

CHOP IT: Furlyn Barrett took out the championship title of the wood chopping competitions on both Friday and Saturday at Show Whitsunday. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Coast Guardian.

Furlyn Barrett took out the woodchop championship at Show Whitsunday

Art comes to life at the reef festival

ARTY: Some of the wearable art at the Reef Festival.

Art comes to life at the reef festival

Curly tails race to finish line

IT'S ON: The pure bred Australian miniature pigs raced through an obstacle course to the finish line at Show Whitsunday on Saturday afternoon. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Coast Guardian.

Little pigs made their way through a miniature course today

Latest deals and offers

Region's thefts up 66%: How does your suburb rank?

THEFTS in Mackay have skyrocketed 66% a decade after the peak of the mining boom, Queensland Police statistics obtained by the Mercury reveal.

WFC Premier men's team take out Mackay City Brothers

A WFC Reserve Grade player locked in combat with the Mackay City Brothers at the Whitsunday Sportspark on Saturday.Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times

Victory for WFC Premier men's team cements top spot on ladder.

Woodchopper shows his strength

CHOP IT: Furlyn Barrett took out the championship title of the wood chopping competitions on both Friday and Saturday at Show Whitsunday. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Coast Guardian.

Furlyn Barrett took out the woodchop championship at Show Whitsunday

Art comes to life at the reef festival

ARTY: Some of the wearable art at the Reef Festival.

Art comes to life at the reef festival

Curly tails race to finish line

IT'S ON: The pure bred Australian miniature pigs raced through an obstacle course to the finish line at Show Whitsunday on Saturday afternoon. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Coast Guardian.

Little pigs made their way through a miniature course today

Are you ready for the Boom? Spenda is back

LIGHT ’EM UP: Spenda C will be bringing his tunes.

SPENDA C has played in some of the biggest clubs around.

Caitlyn Shadbolt, Sara Storer join Gympie Muster bill

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at CMC Rocks in March 2016.

AWARD-winning singers star in third line-up announcement.

Woodchop competition

Woodchop competitors at Show Whitsunday on Saturday afternoon.

Miniature pigs race to finish

Eight Australian miniature pigs raced to the finish line at Show Whitsunday on...

dog show

12-year-old Bearded Collie Indy stole the show.

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Time flies when your job is so fun!

TEAM: Married couple, Mark and Belinda Beale bought Ray White Whitsundays in 2006 and since then the business has continued to grow. 
Photo contributed.

Time flies when your job is so fun!