Finance spokesman: CQU, council tackling youth unemployment

BUNDABERG Regional Council's finance spokesman Steve Cooper says the additional trainees and apprentices employed by the council "will be very well occupied".

When advocating the council's annual report to the media after its open meeting yesterday, Cr Cooper acknowledged the relationship with CQUniversity in its effort to reduce youth unemployment.

The last annual report before the 2020 local government election was approved by councillors in the open council meeting yesterday.

In the report it said the council had recruited 20 new trainees and two apprentices in the past year.

Cr Cooper said the report reflected the stability of the council's financials heading into a new term.

"There is obviously going to be changes, as there always is, and hopefully life goes on and everything is in a great place to continue."

He said the council had the opportunity to improve local employment and benefit from subsidies.

"We have a good program that works with them to give them a future as well, so that's a wonderful aspect of being able to take children in our community on," he said.

"The real cost to ratepayers is minimal but we are underwritten by grants and other areas there," he said.

"It's part of the program for youth employment, so we take it on and make it happen."

The council generated $223.5 million in revenue, a drop of about $4 million from the previous year.

"That's always a moving target," Cr Cooper said.

"We set our budget and work within those. There's different aspects that make up that dollar, it's how we spend it that's important and that we spend it wisely and spend it in the right places."

The report's adoption was formally moved by councillor Helen Blackburn and seconded by councillor Jason Bartels.

Cr Blackburn recognised the efforts of council staff in putting together the report.

"It really showcases the great work being carried out by council," she said.

The 2018-19 annual report can be read on the Bundaberg Regional Council website.



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