LSC votes to slash reseal projects from 25 roads to 3
The Livingstone Shire council has voted to slash a list of 25 roads to be resealed down to three.
The council’s capital reseal program for the 2020/21 financial year was flagged to cost more than $565,000 with roads like Svendsen Road, Wood Street, Ferguson Street, Casuarina Ave, and others to be resealed.
Executive director for infrastructure Michael Kriedemann said the evaluations for these roads took place in 2018, and that’s when it was decided when these roads might need to be sealed in the future.
But upon further inspection, Mr Kriedemann said they did not need to be sealed in the upcoming financial year.
“The officers have gone around and had a look at the network and had a look at the 25 listed projects and made the... recommendation that those projects to be... deferred,” Mr Kriedemann said.
Councillor Nigel Hutton said this was trying to balance transparency and managing needs as they came along.
“The data that we were been using has now been superseded,” he said.
“We have now identified that these are high need or need to be addressed first.”
He commended the officers for giving the informative data, even with the change.
But he said the report did not identify risk around reputation.
Councillor Pat Eastwood said he wanted them to fix the roads that needed to be done, irrespective of the inefficiencies of the report.
Councillor Andrea Friend said in her previous management experience, she learnt that organisations should run like ‘a duck on water’ - gliding on top and swimming like hell underneath.
She said if the consultants in 2018 did a desktop audit, it would cost the taxpayers for the assessor to be employed.
“I’m concerned that if council keeps continually putting off these reseals, there’s going to be more complaints coming into our customer support, and the community ideal will be council only cares about Yeppoon,” Cr Friend said.
Transport portfolio holder councillor Glenda Mather said she knew nothing about this item on the agenda.
“Councillor portfolio policy applies for the portfolio councillors, and council employees have a responsibility to ensure the portfolio councillor is kept informed of key matters relating to their area of portfolio responsibility,” she said.
“I’m taking into account that this is not a reprimand, I’m taking into account that you probably haven’t seen these works yourself because you reply on your staff to give you the advice that you need to make decisions.
“Why wasn’t I told so that I could be prepared?”
Mr Kriedemann said he should have included Cr Mather in the stakeholder consultations, and apologised to her.
Cr Mather asked whether this was a way to reduce expenditure.
Mr Kriedemann said the intention was to spend the full budget on these three projects.
The process would take the first 60mm or so out and replace 50mm-60mm of asphalt, at a cost of which wa generally $50 per square metre.
He also said anything under $10,000 should never have been part of the capital works project, but instead should have been in maintenance.
Mayor Andy Ireland said he’d support reducing the number of projects because it would encourage the infrastructure department to review procedures and projects in the future.
“I understand Cr Mather’s frustrations and I certainly encourage, nay, urge officers in the future that she is consulted,” he said.
“I also accept Cr Hutton and other member’s concerns of potential reputational damage.”
Deputy mayor Adam Belot proposed a change to move any surplus funds from the three projects to the next highest priority project.
The motion to only go ahead with the three projects was passed 5-2, with councillors Mather and Friend voting against.
The motion passed with Cr Belot’s amendment.
The streets that will be resealed are James Street’s eastbound carriageway between Mary and Hill Streets (1100 sqm), Park Street north of the bridge to Queen Street (3350 sqm), and Tanby Road between McBean Street and Industrial Ave (5800 sqm).