Roads are the lifeline to communities
The recent floods not only have had a devastating impact on our region, but the event also impacted much of our rural and regional road network, which are the lifeline to our communities and industries.
It becomes even more evident when roads are closed at times of floods how important it is that they are fixed up as quickly as possible.
I would like to thank the Department of Main Roads and Transport for their fast action in working on the Flinders/Barkly Highway and regional development roads since the flood waters receded.
The Inland Queensland Roads Action Project identified that nearly 3000 kilometres and more than 300 bridges and culverts require upgrading to fit-for-purpose standards, so this is an excellent opportunity to address safety needs and pinch points through "betterment" to the required standards when carrying out flood repairs.
Regional Queensland outside Greater Brisbane contributes more to the national economy than South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory combined.
The IQ-RAP is an economic development initiative to further develop local industries and attract new investment, which will in turn create jobs.
It is vital we increase the quality and accessibility of the inland road network to secure the economic growth of rural and regional Queensland.
Cr Rick Britton
Chair IQ-RAP Working Group
Mayor of Boulia Shire Council
Mount Isa City Council's travel expenditure
I recently attending the March 13 2019, Mount Isa City Council Meeting and asked the following.
MICC has recently stated that 63% of Mount Isa residents have seen a decrease in water charges. MICC has also stated, that it equates to an average $28 savings to each rate payer.
Prior to this council being elected, the average spend on travel per year for MICC, was around $15,000 and this goes as far back as Tony McGrady, John Molony and Ron McCullough.
The first full financial year of term for this council 2016/2017, travel increased to just under $83,000. Townsville City Council was just under $90,000 on travel for that same financial year. Townsville has 11 councilors as opposed to Mount Isa's 7 Councilors.
This council's second financial year 2017/2018, MICC spent just under $95,000 for a full year. Now I want to be clear, this spend was mainly by 3 people, the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and CEO. Cr Jean Ferris, Cr Paul Stretton, Cr Peta McCrae, Cr George Fortune and Cr Mick Tully did NOT contribute to this increase in travel for both of these financial years.
We are living in an age of modern technically, where voice & video conferencing is now a normal part of the business day. We have businesses and residents who have seen increases from anywhere from 5% to 500% in the rates, it's devastating and it will impact on the city.
You have seen how excited residents have been to save $28 or around $190,000, imagine if this council had not spend that extra $150,000 on travel and had given that back to the city in a form of discount on rates.
My question is, given that "this council is committed to continuously looking to reduce costs and charges" could the council please reduce their travel spend by at least half at the very minimum for their time left in council?
Cr George Fortune was kind enough to give me a response, but in fairness to him and the council I will leave it to the media to cover this story and his response. I will make sure I share the story and the council's response on the Isa Rate Payers Facebook page.