News

Council finances questioned after budget release

FINANCIAL management at Gladstone Regional Council is under fire after the budget released last week cast doubt on its strategy for managing debt and spending.

But the council has hit back, claiming its financial management approach is second to none.

New Auckland resident Andrew Hopkinson said big projects like the Philip St redevelopment were costing ratepayers at a time when the council needed to knuckle down and focus on repaying its $170 million debt.

"Is it wise to continue pushing with the Philip St precinct even after the government funding applications were rejected?" he asked.

"Is this actually what the community wants?

"The state of the Gladstone economy is a mess.

"Gladstone is coming to the end of such a prosperous time, with an enormous debt."

Mr Hopkinson, a mechanical engineer by trade, said the council's current debt management strategy was irresponsible.

He said the council's debt management policy would lead ratepayers into inevitable increases in repayments over the years.

"The current situation is unsustainable and will drive people away from Gladstone increasing the burden on those that remain.

"The debt must be paid back. Council waste must be cut and more responsible reflective decisions must be made."

But the council said its long-term financial plan was reviewed independently by qualified economists.

GRC chief financial officer Mark Holmes admitted the council's credit rating had been downgraded from "sound" to "moderate", but said the new rating indicated council had "adequate capacity to meet its short, medium and long-term goals".

"The council's ability to service debt has been reviewed... externally by Queensland Treasury Corporation, which concluded the council's debt levels are sustainable through a number of commercial financial indicators," he said.

Mr Holmes said the council's assets offset its debts, which is equivalent to 7.96% of the value of its assets.

"This equates to debt of $7960 on a $100,000 mortgage," he said.

COUNCIL DEBT

Outstanding borrowings

  • $170 million

Repayments this year

  • $19 million

Council asset base

  • $2.13 billion

Planned future borrowings

  • 2014-2015: nil
  • 2015-2016: $14.1 million
  • 2016-2023: $46.6 million

Topics:  finances gladstone regional council queensland treasury corporation



Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Is Brisbane the new arts and culture capital?

Check out GOMA's latest exhibition - it's all about hair! GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

THE rest of the world should be envious of this line-up!

Pacific Jewel tourists choose Gladstone as wedding destination

Newlyweds Matthew and Christine Moore tie the knot aboard P&O Pacific Jewel Cruise Ship in Gladstone.

COUPLE tie the knot while docked at Gladstone on luxury ship.

'Absorbant' used to soak up liquid from busy Gladstone road

SUSPECTED LEAK: Firefighters rush to a suspected chemical spill in Red Rover Road.

FIREFIGHTERS rush to suspected “chemical spill or leak” in Gladstone

Owner finds Gladstone man living under home, police called

An Anglicare CQ housing manager says many people who have remained in Gladstone are experiencing financial stress.

MAN forced to sleep underneath vacant Gladstone house

Local Partners

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Selling Houses renovate for Salvos in 100th episode

Charlie Albone, Andrew Winter and Shaynna Blaze return for season 10 of Selling Houses Australia. Supplied by Foxtel.

Selling Houses launch 10th season in volatile property market

Woman to help Gladstone families connect with dead loved ones

SPIRITS: Medium Charmaine Wilson will be in Gladstone in May to perform readings and stage show.

SPIRITS hang around Kmart as much as cemeteries.

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Gladstone's 20 cheapest properties on the market, all under $150K

DIRT CHEAP: 5/239 Sun Valley Rd, Kin Kora is selling for $140,000

PROPERTY sellers drop prices as houses and units sell for bargains.

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!