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In January 2014, Whitsunday Regional Council was advised by the Queensland Government that Council has a liability of $10.8 million for out of scope work for the 2009 Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) Program.
At yesterday’s Council meeting, Whitsunday Regional Council resolved to advise the Queensland Government that it finds it extremely difficult to work through the process of a potential repayment of $10.8 million for the 2009 NDRRA program.
Mayor Jenny Whitney said this is based on the fact that I and Councillor Jan Clifford and othercommunity members raised concerns in relation to the 2009 NDRRA program on 22nd May 2009, with the previous Queensland Government.
“On 25th May 2009, the matter was referred to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC),”Mayor Whitney said.
“The CMC assessed and investigated the allegation and no further action was taken in relation to this matter.
“As a result of the CMC finding the previous Queensland Government took no further action on the matter.
“If action was taken when we raised these concerns in 2009 we would not find ourselves in thissituation now, facing a potential $10.8 million repayment for ineligible and out of scope works forthe 2009 NDRRA Program.
“Council also has concerns as to why a program that was reviewed, assessed, investigated andendorsed now has the potential liability to Council of $10.8 million.
“Council will continue to work closely with the new Queensland Government to review fundingstrategies for the potential liability.
“It is also worth noting that due diligence by this Council stopped out of scope and ineligible works in the 2011 NDRRA Program, saving Council a potential $30-40 million liability,” she said.
Mayor Whitney said at yesterday’s meeting Council also received the independent reviewcompleted by Aurecon into the 2009 NDRRA Program.
“Aurecon was engaged last year by Council to undertake an independent review into the 2009NDRRA Program because of the short timeframes and complexity of requirements imposed by the QRA when requesting Council review the 2009 program.
“Aurecon’s independent review of the 2009 NDRRA Program was received by Council officers on 20th December 2013.
“The independent report advises of ineligible and out of scope works to the value of $10.8 million, this is an improvement on the summary report that identified $13 million,” she said.
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