Councillors Dan Stewart and Bob Fredman, who have questioned the council’s financial habits in the past, say CPA Australia’s damning report into the council’s financial management has vindicated them.
Councillors Dan Stewart and Bob Fredman, who have questioned the council’s financial habits in the past, say CPA Australia’s damning report into the council’s financial management has vindicated them.

Damning financial report ‘vindicates’ councillors

COUNCILLOR Bob Fredman has called for more "truly independent" reviews following the devastating take-down of the last council's financial management which others called "vindicating".

The report, compiled by the accounting group CPA Australia and released on Saturday, found the previous council perceived financial capability as of "secondary importance".

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It scored the council's financial management at 1.7 our of 4; the average of other public entities was 2.2.

Gympie council’s financial management was rated poorly in an independent review by CPA Australia.
Gympie council’s financial management was rated poorly in an independent review by CPA Australia.

Mr Fredman said this review was "special as it was received without being reviewed internally".

"It was commissioned a few months ago but has been completed while there's an interim CEO in office, and passed directly to the new Mayor.

"We must continue to look at other areas where council has not been functioning well.

"We have a mandate - and a responsibility - to implement change in those areas of council that need it."

Mr Fredman was not alone in claiming the report's findings were unsurprising.

Dan Stewart said CPA's findings were "frustrating", but a key to the future, too.

Many of the council’s results were sub-par.
Many of the council’s results were sub-par.

"There were a number of issues I have raised over the years which had been brushed aside, which the report raised as issues," Mr Stewart said.

"Frankly when this study was proposed at our March meeting a number of us were sceptical.

"It is refreshing to have an honest no nonsense report.

"This report gives excellent guidance on the way ahead."

Deputy Mayor Hilary Smerdon said it "proves what we've been saying for the past four years has been right".

He cautioned those hoping for a quick fix, though.

"It'll be a long road back, but we have to do it gradually," Mr Smerdon said.