Audit throws up nasty surprises

AN audit of assets after the amalgamation of the four councils threw up some nasty surprises, Cr Danny Rowleson said yesterday.

“We’re doing an asset register,” he said.

“Most of the councils had no idea what they had or what state it was in.”

The inspection program led to several bridges being closed or having weight restrictions put on them.

“We had to close the bridge on the Monduran Road, which means farmers who used to use it now have to go about 100km out of their way,” he said.

“But legally we had to do it because the bridge was in such a poor state of repair.”

The bridge at Smiths Crossing also had to be closed because it was in bad shape, severing another vital link for the community.

“We had budgeted $200,000 to fix it because we felt we could do it for that, but state government agencies wouldn’t let us because it would have allowed an insufficient fish passage,” Cr Rowleson said.

“It would cost us $800,000 to fix, and we haven’t got that, so the bridge remains closed.”

Cr Rowleson said the council had to do some emergency repairs to the transport system just to keep the roads open.

He said because of the size and diversity of the council’s area, many of the people in the coastal areas such as Bargara and Elliott Heads did not understand issues affecting people in Bucca and Gin Gin.

Conversely, people in areas such as Bucca and Gin Gin did not always understand what was important for the residents of coastal areas.

“People expected they were going to get a better deal with amalgamation, but there’s no more money in the pot,” Cr Rowleson said.

“If we could achieve efficiencies of scale that would be a big factor, but that’s going to take time.”



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