What is Rattler Railway Company's relationship to council?
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
GIVEN the widespread disquiet, not to say consternation, at the recent revelation that we ratepayers are obligated to guarantee the financial viability of the Rattler Railway Company, it would seem an appropriate time for the CEO, the Mayor, or even the indefatigable council spokeswoman to demystify the organisation.
How is the RRC constituted?
What is its relationship to the council - other than its financial dependency?
How many salaried personnel does it employ and what is their annual cost to the operation of the Rattler?
What are the Rattler Railway Company's obligations in relation to accountability and transparency?
How frequently is it required to publish its financial position in terms of profit and loss- six-monthly, annually? Are these figures to be made public?
Surely these are questions to which the ratepayers, the ultimate guarantors of the Rattler Railway Company , are entitled to have answers.
Statement from Gympie Regional Council and the Rattler Railway Company:
"The Rattler Railway Company is a controlled entity of council, and although it is fully owned by council, the organisation operates at arm's length under an independent voluntary board.
"The Rattler Railway Company is a not-for-profit organisation, which means that it does not operate for profit, personal gain or to the benefit of any individual.
"The Rattler Railway Company is also public company registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
"Business decisions are made independently by the Rattler Railway Company, and Council informed and regularly updated as both organisations work towards a positive outcome for the region.
"The tourism facility was reopened to create visitation to the region and also in acknowledgement of the vital role the Gympie Station and the Mary Valley line has played in the history and heritage of the region.
"A recent economic report released runs through the estimate of the economic impact on the local economy of the Gympie Region.
"This report can be found at https://www.gympie.qld.gov.au/rattler
"The Rattler Railway Company operate with assistance from a large group of volunteers.
"The current volunteer pool sits at 150 active volunteers working across the organisation.
"The paid staff component of the business is the equivalent of 23 full time employees (FTE).
"This is up from 21.16 FTE at end of last financial year as a result of successful grant funding enabling the employment of local long term unemployed.
"As a result of this and with a change of structure within the business the ratio of salaried staff to wages staff has decreased by 33 per cent from May 2019.
"Rattler Railway Company Ltd is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission where Annual Reports are available online.