News

Hines wants return on investment

Cr Hines is asking what has been the return on Council’s funding for the EDU over the past five years.
Cr Hines is asking what has been the return on Council’s funding for the EDU over the past five years. ROB WRIGHT

A COUNCILLOR'S frustration about how Council is charting the city's economic future has turned to bitter disappointment.

Cr Kerry Hines thought she had posed some fairly simple and direct questions about the performance of the council's Economic Development Unit (EDU), but says the responses to them have left her annoyed and asking even more.

"I had previously asked at a council meeting if we had a long term economic development strategy or plan and was horrified to find out that we don't and haven't had one for years," Cr Hines wrote in a question of notice she lodged at the last council meeting.

She also asked what had been the return on Council's funding for the EDU over the past five years.

"I believe we have spent approximately $1m per year in this area over the past five or more years. What has been achieved?" she wrote.

"They are questions that a lot of people in the business and wider community have asked me, and so on behalf of all those people I was trying to establish what plan the EDU was working to, and what results it had achieved," Cr Hines said yesterday.

The Councillors questions and the answers to them are contained in the business papers for this Thursday's Council meeting, along with a commitment to provide a more detailed report in June.

While her questions were straightforward and direct the answers being tabled at Thursday night's meeting are not specific.

"My concern is the business and wider community's lack of faith in the leadership of the economic direction of our city," Cr Hines said.

"I look forward to the detailed response as does the business community.

"Although council has put aside $20,000 for a new economic development plan I believe we need to engage with the many business groups within the community to encourage their input into the economic future of our city."

Cr Hines said while the economic indicators for the city are strong, they are more of a reflection of what the private sector is doing and not as a result of any council strategy.

Council's Director of City Services, Ben Lawson, said the lack of exact detail in his department's response to the questions posed by Cr Hines was actually a reflection of how significant he considered them to be.

"The fact that we have provided an interim response reflects the importance of the issues and the fact that we want to give a full and detailed response," Mr Lawson said.

"I can assure you that response will be forthcoming at the first meeting in June."

But Cr Hines countered that she was disappointed that the answers to her questions weren't readily available.

"I know in my own buisness that you need to be working to a plan and there have got to be KPIs in place," she said.

"Where is the plan for the EDU?

"Where are the KPIs"?

  • What do you think? Are you happy about the council's economic development strategies? Email your thoughts to editor@coffscoastadvocate.com.au or vote in the poll on this page.

Topics:  coffs harbour city council, economy



Gae wants to channel Brisbane's Grandma Uber on the Coffs Coast

LIFT: Go Buggy has opened a new door for Gae Channells with her grand-daughter, Paige Channells.

RIDESHARING is not often linked with pensioners in regional areas.

Wundarra offers Fraser 'hand of collaboration'

FAILING: MP Andrew Fraser believes all funding should be stripped from Wundarra Services.

THE Wundarra board says it wants to work with MP Andrew Fraser

Overcrowded North Coast schools packed to rafters

NORTH Coast schools bursting at seams with too many students

Latest deals and offers

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.