TREASURER ATTACKS COUNCIL’S WATER PROFITS
Written on the 28 February 2011 by Tom Reid
STATE Treasurer Andrew Fraser this morning criticised the Gold Coast City Council and its handling of the Allconnex water debacle.
Fraser (pictured), speaking at a Central Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce business breakfast, spoke out against council’s record water profits, expected this year to be around $94 million.
“There’s a clear capacity for the Gold Coast City Council to act here, and certainly people like Councillor Sarroff have pointed out the sort of profits that Gold Coast City Council expects to receive,” says Fraser.
“What happens in Moreton Bay is they return those profits as a rebate to ratepayers, and certainly if it’s good enough for the Moreton Bay regional council you’d have to think its good enough for the Gold Coast.”
Despite expressing disappointment with GCCC’s operating practices, Fraser reiterated that the State Government has little power over council charges and profits.
“The reality for the Gold Coast’s destiny is that it’s in the hands of Gold Coast residents. You don’t have to be a political scientist to accept the fact that many people have a view about the Gold Coast City Council,” he says.
“I don’t think I’d rate the Gold Coast City Council as one of the best councils to deal with in Queensland to be honest about it, but it’s not up to me to decided whether they should have a job or not, it’s about everyone in this room.
“Everyone on the Gold Coast has the chance to do something about it in March next year.”
After last week apologising to Mayor Ron Clarke for his outspoken criticism of council, councillor Eddie Sarroff says GCCC has ‘eroded its relationship with the State’.
“The unfortunate situation is that there is a lot of differing opinions. The mayor has a viewpoint that in many cases I don’t support,” says Sarroff.
“My concern is that we have eroded our relationship with the State with this debate that’s been raging on water and on many other fronts. The city is better served when elected representatives ensure that they put the interest of the city ahead and avoid the conflicts that have been going on.
Author: Tom Reid