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Councillors Ignore Conflict Of Interest

Filed under Breaking News, Council, Latest News

FLASHBACK: The Go Getta Girls celebrated the opening of their refurbished club rooms – the former Memorial Park croquet shed – in 2014 (Photo: Go Getta Girls)

November 21, 2019

The Go Getta Girls running club has been given a licence to occupy the old croquet shed in Kingaroy’s Memorial Park after councillors set aside conflict of interest declarations by two of their members.

At Wednesday’s Council meeting, councillors Danita Potter and Ros Heit declared they might have a real or perceived conflict of interest talking and voting on the matter because they were both members of the running club.

Under the Local Government Act, the remaining five councillors then had to decide whether the pair really did have a conflict of interest and – if they did – whether the two councillors should leave the meeting while the matter was discussed, or stay and vote on it.

The five remaining councillors decided unanimously that Crs Potter and Heit did have a real or perceived conflict of interest, but they could stay to talk and vote on the matter anyway.

The reason for the decision was that the Go Getta Girls have had Council permission to use the Memorial Park shed for many years – including a period that pre-dated the membership of both councillors – and the licence to occupy simply formalised an existing, long-standing arrangement between Council and the club.

After this, all seven councillors voted unanimously to approve the licence.

* * *

Water restrictions may need to be tightened early next year if summer rains fail to top up the region’s dwindling dams.

Water portfolio chair Cr Ros Frohloff told the meeting BP Dam was now hovering at about 5.1pc of capacity; Boondooma Dam at 26.5pc; Boobir Dam at 27pc; and Gordonbrook Dam at 58.6pc.

However, thanks to responsible water use by residents, average consumption across the region was about 130 litres per day.

This has allowed Council to maintain water restrictions at Level 3 since mid-2017, one level higher than the minimum recommended.

Cr Frohloff said Sunwater was currently allocating 100pc of Council’s high priority water, but this was expected to be cut if summer rains didn’t produce substantial rises in dam levels.

If allocations were reduced, Council would review the water restriction level and likely raise it.

* * *

Wondai’s sportsgrounds will have access to better quality recycled water next year.

At present, the sportsgrounds use lower-grade recycled water which could pose potential health risks to club members if not handled correctly.

The water is supplied by Council at negligible cost through an arrangement the sportsgrounds struck with the former Wondai Shire Council many years ago.

Last year, the Council called tenders for a Class A recycled water plant.

But at its August 2018 meeting, it rejected them because the responses varied so widely they made officers question whether the process could be carried out using the town’s existing infrastructure instead.

On Wednesday, Councillors voted to proceed with an upgrade of Wondai’s Recycled Treatment Facility.

They also delegated authority to CEO Mark Pitt to seek quotes and award contracts.


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