A new lagoon has been announced for the Ipswich CBD. Pictured is owner of Discount Drugs Store Bob Slater, owner of Hello World Suraj Arachchige, Cr Paul Tully, Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr Andrew Antoniolli.
A new lagoon has been announced for the Ipswich CBD. Pictured is owner of Discount Drugs Store Bob Slater, owner of Hello World Suraj Arachchige, Cr Paul Tully, Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr Andrew Antoniolli.

Mayor jumped gun on lagoon promise

IN FRIDAY'S announcement on the CBD lagoon Mayor Pisasale stated "we have sat down with the Federal Government and have a funding model going into Regional Development Australia." - "All three levels of government are now committed to do this, along with our private partners," as reported in the QT.

So I wrote to the RDA and their reply said: "We do not have any information on the matter ourselves."

This suggests to me the Federal Government has told the developer to approach the RDA in this area to develop and gain support for a submission for a future round of the National Stronger Region Fund.

Being asked to apply for a "future round" is like being told to; "give us your number and we will get back to you if anything comes up."

Round three of the fund has just opened and a private built lagoon on the top of a shopping centre does not seem to fit in with the program.

It opened for applications on January 15, 2016 and closes on March 15, 2016. Grant funding must be matched in cash on at least a dollar for dollar basis.

For round three, applicants classified as remote and very remote must contribute at least one dollar for every three dollars of NSRF funding sought.

Local government and incorporated not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply.

A lagoon sitting on the top of a shopping centre in a city of 200,000 people is hardly likely to qualify as remote.

The mayor may have spoken to them at a local level, but it appears that other than talking this will be just like the Norman Street Bridge funding, all talk and no action.

For a council to make a major announcement during the election period, they have to obtain the Local Government Minister's Approval under section 90B.

Clearly this announcement does not meet the approval guidelines of section 90B "exceptional circumstances" of the Local Government act 2009 /2011 and there may have been a breach of this directive.

It appears that this announcement by the council, using a council-owned company and council paid-for assets (the drawings) under Election Caretaker rules and regulations requires the minister's approval.

We are seeking advice on this to ascertain if this have been given.

GARY DUFFY, Mayoral candidate

 

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