News

Councillor calls for independent review of finances

A MAVERICK Maryborough councillor is calling for an independent review of the Fraser Coast Regional Council and has promised ratepayers he will "bat much harder" in the next budget.

For the second year in a row, Chris Loft has called for a "robust discussion" and an independent review into the council's finances.

"You can be navel gazing and thinking you're going well yourself but until you get someone from outside who's got experience - that's how you make real savings," he said.

As anger about the 3% rate rise shows no signs of lessening, Cr Loft said the community was at "full stretch" and the council needed to start performing.

"We really need to start stepping up to the mark," Cr Loft said.

But Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the council's finances were well managed and an independent review wasn't needed.

"We have an independent audit committee that's made up of key financial people, councillors and external providers," he said. .

"In terms of independence and review, you probably could get nothing more thorough than the credit review and financial review conducted by the Queensland Treasury Corporation."

Cr Loft has also questioned the council's level of services and suggested some be offloaded to other organisations.

"If we're ruthless, we can get out and leave it (services) to other departments or non for profit organisations - I won't be anymore specific than that," he said.

"Savings is not a dirty word."

Cr Loft was accused of "sabotage" and "political-grandstanding" at the council's budget meeting in June after he suggested a 0% rate rise.

Speaking on Monday, Cr Loft stood by his views of cutting spending to minimise a rate rise, but he distanced himself from his previously proposed 0% rise.

"I don't know if I would have said that - I think that we can bat much harder and we definitely will for the next budget," he said.

Cr Loft said the council needed to save money because the community was stretched and at the budget meeting he cited about $8 million in cuts to the council's future infrastructure plans.

However at the meeting, chief executive Lisa Desmond analysed Cr Loft's plans and only found $800,000.

When asked about Cr Loft's proposed cuts to infrastructure spending, the Mayor said he'd had his chance.

"Every councillor including Cr Loft had the opportunity to present possibilities," he said.

Cr O'Connell said it was "the most extensive review and assessment of a budget" he had ever been involved in.

Topics:  budget, chris loft, fraser coast regional council, independent review, maryborough




Stay Connected

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

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

TV channels change their stations today

Television and remote Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

TV programs and free-to-air channels are changing

Toogoom to host second round of Wide Bay Series

RACE ON: Darren Caruso is pictured during last year’s Wide Bay Series round at Toogoom.

Organisers hope to match last year's number of 90 entries.

Latest deals and offers

Joel Seeney defies the odds and collects second place in the Max's muscle up challenge

Beating the odds with a point to prove - Maryborough Fitness Health and Bodyworks'...

Dry July on the Fraser Coast

Dry July - Vera Van De Velde (clinical nurse - Alcohol & Other Drugs Support Service) asking drinkers to abstain for the month of July.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Dry July is a chance to abstain from alcohol for the month of July to raise money...

Maryborough mural poject

Maryborough artist Craig Winter dedicates his Kent Street mural to the story of the Bauer Nurses. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Craig Winter is creating the latest Maryborough Mural Project artwork.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

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