Council meeting with State Treasury on WBW set for Thursday

THE Fraser Coast Mayor and deputy will meet with State Treasury officials on Thursday, July 25, to again ask that the council be exempt from paying $65 million in stamp duty to resume control of Wide Bay Water.

"I am appealing to the Premier, Campbell Newman, and the Treasurer to favourably consider our submission in support of a duties tax exemption, and make a decision in the best interests of the community by delivering a lower cost of living for residents of the Fraser Coast," Mayor Gerard O'Connell said.

"We as council are simply exercising our responsibility to our ratepayers and we are confident that the government has the ability to rectify this matter in the best interests of the Fraser Coast community."

Council has also called on the two Fraser Coast State Members of Parliament, Anne Maddern and Ted Sorensen, to help council take its message to the state government on behalf of ratepayers.

Meanwhile, the council is pushing ahead with plans to lobby the State Government to change laws to allow councillors to sit on the boards of Local Government Owned Corporations.

"The State Government abolished the ability to establish any more LGOC's," Cr O'Connell said.

"Councils uniformly took the view that they were uninterested in adopting a legal structure which removes day-to-day legal and operational control of an essential public utility service from elected councillors.

"The change to allow councillors to sit on the boards would ensure council's views are expressed at a board level improving governance, representation and complementing external board appointments to achieve the savings identified, shared services and the corporate direction.

"Council does not understand why the State Government will not facilitate a request to appoint up to three elected members to an entity owned by Council to strengthen governance on behalf of our community."

He said council had the support of Mr Sorensen and Ms Maddern in taking its message to Local Government Minister David Crisafulli to amend the legislation so that councillors can sit on the WBW board.

"We are seeking that the Minister urgently considers the proposal given the untenable situation," Cr O'Connell said.



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