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25 June, 2020

TRC moves to shut down 'sham' department

TRC moves to shut down 'sham' department.

By Phil Brandel

At today’s ordinary Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) meeting, it was resolved to deregister the Tablelands Regional Council Enterprise PTY LTD (TRCE), which was set up in May 2018.

The TRCE was originally set up as a separate entity to the council as a way to increase council revenue by initiating smart infrastructure and to investigate alternative commercial revenue streams.

It’s believed that the TRC  supplied $285,000 in funding to the TRCE including the CEO being paid $140,000 p.a

It’s believed that the above amounts may increase due to missing paperwork, Mayor Rod Martin told the ABC that "somewhere in the vicinity of half million dollars has gone down the gurgler"

The TRCE CEO resigned suddenly and effectively on February 3, 2020.

In a report tabled at today’s meeting by current TRC CEO Bob Owen he wrote: “In the opinion of the staff, no useful, practical or real outcomes have been achieved by TRCE.”

“The most recent deal allegedly negotiated by the TRCE CEO appears to be sham and no projects promoted by TRCE appear to be viable based on past performance and available information. “

“Some council staff had difficulties with TRCE,  including obtaining detailed information to undertake due diligence and in negotiating agreements.”

At the time the council tried to enter into an agreement with TRCE to limit the liability of council and the amount committed by council without success.

During the meeting it was also mentioned that it seemed like money, invoices and bank statements were missing.

Council voted unanimously to start the process to deregister the TRCE.

CEO Bob Owen mentioned that more details would be available once a full report into funds and spending by the TRCE and once that information was available the board and the TRC could sign the documents needed to officially end the organisation.

Mayor Rod Marti said that council would undertake a forensic investigation to look into TRCE’s accounts “find out how much money has gone in and where it went”

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