By: Regional Infrastructure Projects Coordinator, Scott Britton...
Last month the Technical Committee considered the allocation of an additional $702,000 in funding for this financial year, which is a budget fallout from our actions last year to bring projects forward and deliver for other regions. This is a positive result for the region and effectively represents a second bite at the same cherry. These funds have been allocated to projects and will allow Councils to extend the scope of current year projects/bring forward projects from later years.
During the month, two applications for funding under the Improving Financial Management and Sustainability Scheme were drafted. These applications will be considered at the next FNQROC Board meeting on Monday 14 October before being lodged with the State Government for consideration.
The projects being put forward for consideration are:
1. Revenue Capacity Assessment Project – looking to undertake an independent assessment of each Council's (and thus the region's) capacity to raise rates and utilities charges.
2. Asset Sustainability and Retention Framework Project – looking to develop a tool to assist Councils in decision making with regards to disposal of assets at the end of their useful life.
The next Regional Asset Management Group meeting will take place on Wednesday 16 October in Cairns. We've been lucky enough to secure another presentation from Brendan Macrae, from the Queensland Audit Office. Brendan recently presented to the Regional Procurement Group and will provide the Asset Management Group with an overview of the QAO's intended performance audit process.
In earlier newsletters I reported that we had written to the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection to express our collective concerns regarding the relatively short timeframes for consultation. We have since received a response, in which the intention to complete the regulatory simplification of the existing waste regulations by the end of this year was noted.
Steven Cosatto and I commenced detailed discussions with Councils as part the benchmarking process for potential regional steel processing arrangements. Steven will continue with this work in the coming months and will be able to keep everyone updated in future newsletters.
On a final note, with this being my last newsletter I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the way in which everyone has made me welcome and for your commitment and enthusiasm to the respective committees I've been involved with. To Darlene and to my fellow FNQROC colleagues – thanks guys!