‘Beast’ budget left to grow fat at expense of residents
A messgae from Divison 4 councillor Bruce Devereaux:
THIRTEEN weeks. That’s apparently how long your new council has been on the job, but it feels more like three months to me.
In some ways I feel like I’m back at school, sitting in a room with someone up front explaining the why of things; and even homework.
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And can I say, it’s been an enjoyably steep learning curve.
From the outside peering in it might appear your elected councillors haven’t achieved much yet.
The budget hasn’t been approved for one thing, and that’s been our primary focus.
This is one of those situations where slow and steady is being shirtfronted by the community’s desire to know where they stand in terms of their future, be it rates, work or general infrastructure and services.
Furthermore, neither side is unjustified in their position.
The fact is we have achieved more than I thought we could in such a short period of time. We’re also being far more thorough than I feared the council framework would allow with increasingly chain-like constraints added to regulations since the 2008 amalgamation of Queensland councils.
Thankfully we’re being assisted by dozens of genuinely engaged council staff who are as keen to finally hogtie this beast of a budget which has been allowed to roam untethered and grow fat at the expense of residents for far too long.
In light of what we were handed, plus the ongoing health and fiscal disaster which is COVID-19 and how that might potentially hurt our local businesses, employment opportunities and your council in the coming few years, it’s way more important we get this right than done quickly.
I can safely reassure residents it won’t be long until we can present our considered responses and answers, and – as importantly for building confidence within our community – we’ll be sure to show our workings.
You know, like back when I was at school.
Thirteen weeks is a long time but unfortunately it’s also proven to be not quite long enough.