Funds cut hamper council plans
CUTTING funding to the Bundaberg region just at the time four councils had been ordered to amalgamate was a disservice to residents, Cr Mary Wilkinson believes.
Cr Wilkinson said Bundaberg Regional Council had no idea going into amalgamation that the state government was going to cut its 40% subsidy for water infrastructure.
“That was probably the hardest pill to swallow — getting the legs cut out from us on funding,” she said.
“It means we have to fund projects ourselves.”
Cr Wilkinson said the more funding the state government took away from local authorities, the more impact it had on ratepayers.
“In the corporate world, if you are going to put four big companies together into one company, you can’t do it without cost,” she said.
“The state government gave us nothing extra to fund the amalgamation, then took away our water infrastructure subsidy.”
Cr Wilkinson said she felt the state government had to take more responsibility for problems caused by the amalgamation and kick in more funding.
“The state has to be responsible and give us some funds,” she said.
“It’s not fair on the residents for the state government to treat us like this.
“We’ve got such great potential; it shouldn’t have been made this hard.
“The legislation just comes in, and then we’re left to deal with all the complex issues that came out of it.”