The review into the Mary valley Rattler's delays and blow outs remains stuck in neutral one year on, much to the frustration of several councillors.
The review into the Mary valley Rattler's delays and blow outs remains stuck in neutral one year on, much to the frustration of several councillors. Contributed

One year on, still no sign of council's Rattler review

THERE continues to be no movement at the station for the review into the Rattler's $7 million blowout one year after it was announced to ensure "confidence in the way council manages future projects”.

A Gympie Regional Council spokeswoman said yesterday there was "disappointment” at the report's delayed progress, but it could not be helped as it was linked by two activities.

"The first is the detailed legal review of the original specification prepared for the restoration of the track and bridges, following previous serious concerns raised regarding its adequacy,” she said.

Gympie town hall
Gympie town hall. Craig Warhurst

She said this review was moving forward but legal matters could be "lengthy” and must be resolved before the project review could be finished. And that review, she said, was "inherently linked and subservient to the legal review”.

"July 2018 was the due date for delivery of the review, however the legal complication followed in quick succession, and required the project review to be put on hold,” the spokeswoman said.

The community's confidence will not be known until the election. Some councillors are concerned.

"Given the significant increases in the cost of the restoration... and given the delay in finalising the review, the public should be concerned about council's project management,” Cr Dan Stewart said.

Gympie councilor Dan Stewart.
Gympie councilor Dan Stewart. Renee Albrecht

Cr Hilary Smerdon agreed."This review has taken far too long. I think the public would be disappointed with the process,” he said.

Cr Glen Hartwig said the public should "be sceptical” of the council's role and it was easy to understand why people might feel the reviews were a "smokescreen”.

"Based on the information presented the prospect of a large payout is about as likely as finding a live elephant in your fridge,” he said.

Gympie councillor Glen Hartwig
Gympie councillor Glen Hartwig Tom Daunt

The legal issue's legitimacy was queried by Cr Bob Fredman too.

"In the interests of transparency and accountability the full report should be made available immediately,” he said. "This is not about whether the Rattler is a good investment, it's about good management and public confidence.”

The other five councillors did not respond to The Gympie Times' questions.