THE Federal Government has made special arrangements for Cook Shire Council to carry out post-Ita repair work on its road network despite Senator Jan McLucas’ “totally inaccurate” claims otherwise.
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch says Cook Shire Council has already received a special dispensation from the Prime Minister’s office so that it can use its own staff and contractors to repair damaged roads under the Local Government Value for Money Pricing Model (day labour) program.
“If Senator McLucas had bothered to check with Cook Shire Council then she would have found out that work has already physically started on the vital Cape York road network,” Mr Entsch said. “This was as a direct result of lobbying by myself and the Mayor of Cook Shire, Peter Scott.
“I’ve always realised the value of day labour and campaigned to have it re-established after it was suspended by Senator McLucas’ Labor Party while she refused to get involved. The Departmental Official quoted by Senator McLucas in Senate Estimates has unfortunately misrepresented the situation.”
Mr Entsch said it was also misleading to include Hope Vale, Wujal Wujal and Douglas Shires as none of these councils had approached him regarding the day labour issue. “The reality is that Cook Shire Council is responsible for the overwhelming majority of the roads leading to communities on Cape York.
“This is just the latest example of Senator McLucas trying to scare the community with misinformation and spin.”
Mr Entsch said the Productivity Commission Review was due at the end of this year and he was confident that it would result in a new process being implemented.