February 10, 2021
Gympie Mayor Glen Hartwig has again warned residents that Council faces “a long path ahead” with many challenges for the Gympie region.
In a long post on social media, Mayor Hartwig said Council’s focus in the past had not been on “getting the basics right”.
“Roads, water and sewerage alone have not been maintained to a standard that residents have the right to expect,” he said.
“We are making improvements in these areas, and will continue to do so but it’s a long path ahead.
“This month we start work on the budget preparation for the 2021-22 financial year.
“It’s going to be a challenge once again as we continue to discover areas that have not been maintained, and budget allocation is going to have to be placed against these basic core services.
“It’s going to take years to get these back to a standard level and a reallocation of budget over this time.
“As much as we would all like to see new projects commence, the work to restore our core services is something we will prioritise as they will service the community and future generations for years to come.
“We also acknowledge our financial position and the need to work hard to reduce the operational deficits we’ve been carrying for the past three years.
“There are other ways that council can support our community and we’ve seen a few examples that have made a major impact without spending millions of dollars that we don’t have.
“You may have seen new turning lanes into Victory College, which was a simple project that has been promised for many years but not delivered.
“We brought the project back on to the schedule and by doing so, it’s now safer to drop off and pick up the kids – with around 800 families affected, not to mention all road users who also have been caught in the congestion, this should always have been a priority.
“We’ve also been able to support the Gympie Medical Transport team; again this wasn’t at a huge cost but the result of supporting this important charity helps those in our community that need medical assistance.
“This is what Council should be about and although our budgets and resources are limited, it doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to look at new ways we can support our community.”