Wait – who is steering the Wide Bay Water ship?

EDITORIAL: Some things seem pretty basic: that water and sewerage are the job of local councils, that council administration should be aware of process and tax liabilities, and that state government should look after the interests of its citizens.

A broad overview of the mess around the Wide Bay Water Board shows little evidence of any of that.

Nonetheless, the council is held responsible for water and sewerage, even when it can't get the job done its way.

It would be the body sued if, for example, someone died because of the bodgy Lenthall Dam gates.

The State Government has made that clear.

Yet councillors cannot (by state law) sit on the water board; nor apparently can they get the board to follow their directions.

Although they can (and have) sacked its leaders.

That and projected cost savings (eg. job cuts) created the wish to bring WBW back under the council umbrella, stalled because of an unforeseen $65 million State Government stamp duty bill which would be triggered by that move.

Treasury - supported by local MPs Ted Sorensen and Anne Maddern - have effectively blocked that by refusing again on Thursday to exempt the council from the tax.

The Mayor says those MPs did support the council's Plan B: to get state law changed to let them sit on the board, which after Thursday's meetings seems more likely.

While all this circular carry-on continues, and the council looks for replacements to run the board, who is steering the ship?

Pity the workers - council and WBW - left with no certainty about strategy or their own future.

Does anyone else feel this has gone on long enough?



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