Accountant to size up real cost of Noosa-Coast split
AN INDEPENDENT accounting firm will assess the records of the de-amalgamation transition committee to determine the real cost of the Sunshine Coast-Noosa split.
Sunshine Coast deputy mayor Chris Thompson has revealed how Local Government Minister David Crisafulli has employed a project manager to seek out an accountant to oversee the review of all the transition committee documents
The move comes after The Daily reported exclusively last Saturday of Noosa Council's bid to convince the minister to force Sunshine Coast Council to fork over another $20 million.
This would be on top of the $40 million already agreed on on advice from the Queensland Treasury Corporation.
Cr Thompson told a Sippy Downs community forum on Wednesday night it was "alarming" Noosa Council worked behind the scenes to state a case for more money.
"We had a look at the Noosa interim budget they brought down in January and we noticed something wasn't quite right," Cr Thompson said.
"Their opening cash balance was closer to $60 million, and so while I was very suspicious at the time, I was willing to consider that maybe they have been given grants from the state or federal governments.
"At no time did I think they would covertly work with the state government or try and approach them behind the scenes to say 'Things aren't going well for us, we need more money and Sunshine Coast Council has got to pay for it'.'"
Mr Crisafulli declined to confirm the employment of an accountant, only to say an announcement would be made "in the coming days".
"I'm determined to make sure the final costings for de-amalgamation are fair and accurate, and that all costs will be met by the Noosa Shire Council," he said.
Noosa Mayor Noel Playford refused to speak with the Daily, but he told sister paper the Noosa News a Queensland Audit Office report on de-amalgamation costs due later this year would leave critics with "egg on their faces".
"I suggest that rather than get themselves excited about imaginings, people should sit back and wait," he said.
"But I have no doubt that some people will claim whatever that figure is, they'll claim the audit office got it wrong."
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said it was critical the agreed rules on how to work out the cash transfer remained the same.
"Any attempt to re-write the rules which were set down at the beginning of this process would be grossly unfair," Cr Jamieson said.