The Rattler's continued delays have created questions about its financial status.
The Rattler's continued delays have created questions about its financial status. Donna Jones

Rattler delays force council to give guarantee to auditors

THE delays which stalled the Mary Valley Rattler's return for more than 300 days has forced Gympie Regional Council to give an assurance about the project to the Queensland's Audit Office.

Councillors endorsed 6-1 a letter of comfort being given to the Rattler Railway Company's board at their last ordinary meeting, with Cr Hilary Smerdon the lone vote against.

Cr Daryl Dodt was on leave, and Cr Glen Hartwig said he left to attend a personal matter.

A council spokeswoman said the letter was required under legislation.

 

Gympie Rattler getting ready.
Gympie Rattler getting ready. Renee Albrecht

"In light of the delays to the commencement of the Rattler Railway and the subsequent financial impact, the Queensland Audit Office, in accordance with normal practice, requested evidence to support the company's status in order to meet the auditor's obligations under Australian Auditing Standards," she said.

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"The council, as 100 per cent owner of the Rattler Railway Company provided a Letter of Comfort in the format required and covers a period of 18 months from the date of the letter."

Letters of comfort are often used to assure financial bodies that obligations will be met.

They are not always legally binding.

As the letter of comfort was in committee, the exact contents of the letter or what obligation it relates to are unknown.

A QAO spokeswoman said confidentiality law means they are unable to release the document to the public.

Gympie Times


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