Bega Valley’s Mayor has spoken out against claims made by a fellow councillor in discussions over the council’s budget.
Fairfax Media published an article last week on the council’s draft budget for 2016-17 and Cr Tony Allen’s concerns over the $22million of borrowings that council has built up over the last four years in the general fund.
Bega Valley Mayor Michael Britten prepared a response to Cr Allen’s tendered notes and distributed it to his fellow councillors and local media.
He said he believed it “clearly refutes Cr Allen’s allegations”.
Included in his detailed response is the history of “actual expenditure” on roads over the past five financial years, examples of where council funds have been directed to financial assistance grants and community partnership funding, and a breakdown of where $11.42million in borrowings approved in March 2016 is being spent.
“This council is in the best position it has ever been, thanks to proactive staff and a majority of councillors who are achieving positive results for the community and I hope the community at large accept this,” Cr Britten said.
“For this council to regress to the way in which it operated in the past...would be a travesty of justice to the majority who are, for the first time, seeing positive results right across the shire, which I and others in times gone by thought would never happen.
“One thing that is needed as changes occur is tolerance in living with change until it is complete,” he said.
“Bega is a good example that now people speaking to me say simply ‘thank you’.
“And Eden is thrilled to see economic growth as a reality with the $44million-plus investment in the port leading to economic growth to the region – and not just Eden – which, combined with the airport expansion, has all been stimulated by this council.”
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