New budget, executive revealed as CQ councils band together
A new budget and executive has been established for the recently constituted Central Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils.
More than $190,000 will be shared between Banana, Central Highlands, Gladstone, Livingstone, Rockhampton and Woorabinda Aboriginal councils to fund activities up until the next financial year.
CQROC was established last September after Gladstone Regional Council voted to work with other councils to enhance Central Queensland's economic growth, social capacity and environmental sustainability.
The entity was formed following the winding up of the Central Queensland Local Government Association in 2013.
In Tuesday's general meeting, Gladstone Regional Council voted unanimously on the established budget between councils.
The funding was comprised of a flat rate base of $5,000, coupled with variable components reflecting both population and operating budget.
Gladstone region Mayor Matt Burnett said CQROC was about councils working together for the best interest of all Central Queenslanders.
"I'm very happy to say that all mayors and councillors are working really well which is going to be good for Gladstone and good for CQ," Cr Burnett said.
"A notable difference this time around is that decisions are made by majority."
It was also revealed former Central Highlands Development Corporation CEO Sandra Hobbs was appointed as CQROC's new executive.
Ms Hobbs worked for Central Highlands Development Corporation for 11 years before she retired.
Gladstone Regional Council CEO Leisa Dowling said Ms Hobbs could be based at any of the council locations and the part-time role would involve a lot of travel.
Councillor Natalia Muszkat expressed concern about the 12 to 13 month contract for the executive role.
"I'm just a bit worried about the fact it's only a 12 to 13 month contract, is this the best way which we can ensure there is continuation and planning that the object is achieved," Cr Muszkat said.
Ms Dowling said it was "hard" to make a commitment until all priorities and strategies were identified.
"The current commitment (for the executive) is until the end of the next financial year," Ms Dowling said.
"Part of the requirement under the constitution of the corporation is to develop a strategic plan and strategic priority.
"The executive officer will facilitate that process so until priorities are identified and the specific direction on what the company wants the executive officer to work on, it's hard to make a commitment on a future time.
"The intent was to get it up and running, and come back with more maturity down the track."
Ms Dowling added funding amounts may also change overtime.
Councillor Rick Hansen also added there had to be a clause in the agreement that CQROC could run during election cycles without interference, which Cr Burnett said he would "raise" with the entity's chairman.
Here is what each CQ council will receive in funding:
• Banana Shire Council - $18,149
• Central Highlands Regional Council - $31,201
• Gladstone Regional Council - $51,066
• Livingstone Shire Council - $28,969
• Rockhampton Regional Council - $57,721
• Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council - $7,894