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12 August, 2020

TRC under audit and review

One of the problems being faced by the TRC is they are not sure how big the deficit is that they inherited from the previous council.

By Phil Brandel

On Friday, July 31 the Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) Mayor Rod Marti handed down a balanced budget meaning that the council was no longer in deficit if it stayed within its operating budget.

One of the problems being faced by the TRC in staying within the budget is that they are still not 100 per cent sure how big the deficit is that they inherited from the previous council.

At first estimates, the carryover deficit was around $3.5 Million dollars but council are now waiting on auditors to get an exact dollar amount.

TRC Mayor Rod Marti said that The Queensland Audit Office (QAO) is conducting the annual scheduled financial audit.

“The TRC external audit is underway and usually takes about two weeks. TRC’s audited financial statements will be published in our annual report in November.”

At the July budget meeting, Cr Marti also announced an organisational review “We are taking a good look at our organisational structure, the services we provide and the level of service.” Mr Marti said

“It will be pretty comprehensive and it’s being done internally by CEO Bob Owen, it will also look at our policies and procedures.”

Mr Marti said that over the past 4 – 5 years council had grown in ways that wasn’t sustainable and gotten into programs that were not critical.

“We can only do want we can afford and we need to concentrate on roads, rubbish and water.”

Another arm of the TRC is also is preparing its financial statements. The Tablelands Regional Council Enterprise is a separate legal entity, which was set up by council in the hope of investigating other possible revenue streams.

At June 25’s council meeting it was moved to dissolve the TRCE which was set up in May 2018.

At the time Rod Marty said that “Somewhere in the vicinity of half million dollars had gone down the gurgler.”

In a report tabled at June’s ordinary council meeting current TRC CEO Bob Owen 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. “

The TRCE's financial statements are now being prepared by an external company.

Mayor Rod Marti said The TRCE statements will be completed as part of year-end activities.

“The preparation of the TRCE financial statements is to allow the company and Council (as sole shareholder) to continue with the deregistration of the company.” He said

“The TRCE financial statements will be presented to Council as a report in an open meeting before the end of the year.”





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