The Fraser Coast council’s Hervey Bay headquarters in Tavistock Street.
The Fraser Coast council’s Hervey Bay headquarters in Tavistock Street.

No amalgamation funding for Fraser

THE Fraser Coast council did not apply for a slice of the $200 million billed to the State Government to cover forced amalgamation costs across the state.

Local Government Association executive director Greg Hallam met with Premier Anna Bligh on Tuesday to find out who gets how much of the money and when.

“She said we’d know in a few weeks’ time but not to get too excited over the full $200 million coming our way.”

Mr Hallam said most of Qld’s councils – more than 20 of them – had applied for funding.

“Most of those hired experts to help them in their applications.”

The March 2008 council mergers are estimated to have cost about $200 million and the deadline for submissions to recoup costs was last March.

“The Fraser Coast Regional Council did not apply for extra funds to cover the cost of amalgamation,” a spokesman said yesterday.

“The council determined at the time when the State Government called for submissions for extra funding that the cost of applying outweighed the possible benefits.

“Because there was no guarantee that extra funding would be available, or when those funds would be made available, the Fraser Coast Regional Council decided to press ahead with its amalgamation program unassisted.”

All other councils in the Wide Bay-Burnett region want to be compensated, with Bundaberg applying for more than $14 million.

Last year Fraser Coast council CEO Andrew Brien said councils that were lodging claims had staff working full-time on the submissions.

He said amalgamation had cost the council millions of dollars and there was no guarantee it would be reimbursed.



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