Mayor wants answers on funding
MAYOR Ron Bellingham hopes to hear by tomorrow if the Federal Budget contains around $70 million to cover council’s day labour bill in the flooding aftermath.
As reported last week, uncertainty remains about whether or not Canberra will come to the party with council’s day labour costs, having already committed to paying for overtime incurred by council staff in the massive clean-ups after the December and January flooding.
With council’s total annual budget at around $60 million, it’s certainty that the mayor says is badly needed right now, particularly as councillors prepare to thrash out their own 2011-2012 budget.
“There have been mixed messages about day labour funding and while we are hearing suggestions that it will be taken care of, we need a firm answer,” the mayor said.
“We are just hoping, along with other Queensland councils, that this detail is buried in the budget and hasn’t been highlighted yet.”
Cr Bellingham said he was “unaware” of new funding for our highways in Tuesday night’s budget, but welcomed continued money for the Roads to Recovery program, which is federal money councils can spend at their discretion on local roads.
“I was also pleased to see the mental health sector receive some attention as it has long been neglected,” he said.
“At the same time I am concerned that some of the cuts will impact on lower-income earners and the set-top box offer is really just a bit of playing politics – many pensioners will already have one.”
Federal funds came our way pre-budget in the form of $40 million for the Gap road repaired from natural disaster relief arrangements, money which is administered by the State Government.