Council must be business smart
EARNING money from assets it now flushes down the river or buries would ease the burden of council amalgamation for ratepayers, Councillor Danny Rowleson believes.
Serving his first term on Bundaberg Regional Council and holding the natural resource management portfolio, Cr Rowleson said a number of areas could be restructured as business models that could earn money.
“For instance, with waste water management I’m dead set against pumping it into the river,” he said.
“Once treated it could be sold back into the farming community for irrigation.
“There is also the potential for us to onsell treated biosolids and we could build and create a soil enrichment model.
“If we could do that, we could earn an enormous amount from soil enrichment products that we could sell across Australia.”
The withdrawal of state government aid from Bundaberg Regional Council meant it would have to be run more like a business if it was to survive, he said.
“We have to report to the state government regularly that we are sustainable,” Cr Rowleson said.
“If they decide we’re not sustainable, they would put in a manager and rates would go up 10% or more, and keep going up.
“It’s absolutely essential we become more entrepreneurial and businesslike in our dealings.”
Cr Rowleson said the council, only two years old, still had a big list of problems to deal with.
“We’ve got a mammoth problem at the Hummock, for instance, because it’s a septic area,” he said.
“We’ve had so much rain recently we’ve had springs coming out of people’s septic drains.
“The only way to cure that is to sewer the Hummock, but that would be an enormous cost because it’s solid rock.”
Asked to rate his performance, Cr Rowleson said he undertook the job to improve the lot of the community in Division 6 and he felt he had been largely successful.
“I hope people would be kind enough to accept a seven out of 10 rating,” he said.
“As for the council, given there is still much to be done, I think a seven would be fair.”