Council staff numbers to be cut

STAFF numbers at Gladstone Regional Council are set to be downsized this financial year as part of a budget promise made on Tuesday.

Gladstone Mayor George Creed, in his budget statement, said all vacancies would be critically reviewed, with a view to downsize over the next financial year.

“All departments will continue to critically review service delivery to ensure that the best value for money is being achieved for the ratepayer dollar,” he said.

“Council continues to review its work practices following amalgamation, efficiencies have been achieved in several areas, but we are a long way from seeing the long-term financial benefits of the amalgamation.”

Following the amalgamation, one of the council's roles has been to help emergency responses as well as volunteer emergency services support.

These include the Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service (SES) units and the Rescue Helicopter Services in the region.

Finance portfolio councillor Lyn Paton said the budget would provide a $240,000 donation to the Rural Fire Brigade and SES, and $20,000 to the Helicopter Rescue Services.

It also provides funding to continue the Disaster Management Program.

“We've had two successive years of cyclone threat; the flooding of early this year and a significant oil spill off the coast. These incidents really highlight the need for council to be proactive in disaster preparedness and management,” Cr Paton said.

“These incidents really highlight the need for council to be proactive in disaster management and preparedness.”

The council has also committed $504,581 as its contribution towards flood mitigation in Tigalee Creek by the construction of a retarding basin and a further $50,333 towards general disaster mitigation through community awareness and education and volunteer capacity development.

Cr Paton said the council had also committed to the replacement, decommissioning and ongoing environmental monitoring of fuel tanks at the Gladstone depot to ensure compliance with environmental requirements, as part of the management of its purchasing and supply operations.

Financial Services Overview

$240,000 for Rural Fire Brigade and SES donations;

$20,000 for Helicopter Rescue Services donations.

$105,000 for fuel tank replacement and decommissioning to ensure that environmental requirements are met.

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