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.

Whitsunday’s Woolworths to remain open

TO REMAIN: Whitsunday's Woolworths will not be affected by the retail giant's announcement that they will close 17 major stores across Australia.

Whitsunday's Woolworths will not be affected by closure of 17 stores

Hollywood stars hit Hamo

STAR POWER: Leonardo DiCaprio (pictured) and Chris Hemsworth have reportedly been holidaying on Hamilton Island this week.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Chris Hemsworth have been spotted on Hamo

Christensen: ‘Get rid of the dole after six months'

George Christensen.

Federal Member for Dawson wants has his say on dole payments

Latest deals and offers

Bowen Superboats prove a blast

The Bowen Offshore Superboats proved a winning weekend for all involved.

Bloody freezing! How cold was it where you are?

Queenslanders woke up feeling like their town was freezing over

Fraud victim rues being sucked into $1.6 million scam

SOME CLOSURE: Fraud victim Alfred Niehaus leaves Maroochydore Court House.

Shaun Daniel Fitzgerald to serve at least three years

Whitsunday’s Woolworths to remain open

TO REMAIN: Whitsunday's Woolworths will not be affected by the retail giant's announcement that they will close 17 major stores across Australia.

Whitsunday's Woolworths will not be affected by closure of 17 stores

A whale of a weekend

Whale sightings were all the rage over the weekend

Whale sightings seemed to be a popular occurrence over the weekend

Sweet treats for an even sweeter cause

TASTY: Melissa Hutson, Carinda Ivens, Hannah Brown, Annette Harn, Melinda Butcher and Amanda Anderson from PRDnationwide are selling tasty cupcakes from today to raise money for the RSPCA. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.

PRDnationwide Whitsundays raises sweet funds for RSPCA

Michael Hutchence doco to show a life lived INXS

Michael Hutchence.

Michael Hutchence will live in tell-all feature-length documentary.

Sunshine Coast cooks to do battle for Masterchef crown

asterChef Australia finalists Matt Sinclair and Elena Duggan.

Noosa's Matt and Elena stay mates to the very end.

Matilda The Musical's clean sweep at Helpmann Awards

A scene from Matilda The Musical.

TIM Minchin-scored production enjoys record awards haul.

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Chance to own an island

Keswick Island is for sale.

Keswick Island to go on the market