FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has congratulated the Regional Organisation of Councils of Cape York (ROCCY) for making a stand against the government’s decision not to reimburse councils who use their own crews to carry out disaster recovery works.
He has also commended Cook Shire Council for standing up for its contractors and day workers, and fighting for a common-sense resolution.
The situation was becoming critical for North Queensland councils who were forced to down tools instead of repairing vital roads in the region, because they were not being reimbursed for the expense of day labour through Natural Disaster Reconstruction and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) funding.
The move will save taxpayers millions of dollars in coming years, with councils’ own day labour and works crews being between 30 and 45 per cent cheaper than external contractors.
The Mayors of communities on Cape York and regional Queensland expressed their relief at the news yesterday but Mr Entsch criticised the government for taking so long to resolve the issue.
“The councils have had to delay works while the government procrastinated on this decision,” he said.
“As late as Wednesday, it was touch and go with Cook Shire Council warning that 170 families would be affected by the loss of jobs and income. This would have had a huge impact.
“I would encourage the government not to go down this road again.”