Wide Bay Water run by council

A NEW board of directors will take over the reins of Wide Bay Water Corporation, Queensland’s first local government-owned corporation, from January 30.

In his annual report outgoing chairman Graham Thomsen fired a parting shot at the council for “delay in adopting appropriate infrastructure charges” and “the uncertainty of the future requirements for bringing infrastructure in Maryborough to an acceptable standard”.

The Chronicle understands there have been moves within the council, at least since early last year, to return the corporation to being totally run by the council.

The corporation is wholly owned by Fraser Coast Regional Council and governed by an independent board of directors who are appointed to WBWC for five years.

Bringing WBWC back under the council’s total jurisdiction was one of the models investigated during the April 2009 public benefit assessment into merging the council’s two water bodies.

Mr Thomsen’s replacement will be Leith Boully, who has a background in the Australian water industry through her irrigation, farming, research and policy interests and she is currently an adjunct professor at the School of Integrative Systems at the University of Queensland.

Ms Boully and her family run an irrigation and dryland farming property at Dirranbandi.

Only one current director remains – Garry Storch.

New board members chosen from more than 60 applicants are Megan Houghton, Ian Klug, Don Marples and Susan Rankin.

WBWC CEO Tim Waldron said the essential qualities displayed by the outgoing directors were their appreciation of legal responsibilities, displaying integrity to the interest of the corporation and its customers and applying sound investment strategies for water infrastructure.

In July last year the Fraser Coast Regional Council amalgamated its water and waste water entities (Fraser Coast Water, which was created by the former Maryborough City Council, and Wide Bay Water Corporation, which was created by the Hervey Bay City Council) under WBWC.

The council and new board will meet informally on February 26.

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