REVELATIONS LAST MONTH concerning the financial affairs of the former Gosford City Council must have come as no surprise to anyone unfortunate enough to have had dealings with the organisation over the past twenty and more years.
That assets were over-valued by $1.39 billion and $74 million in land assets not found along with $14 million missing from the library fund and allocated funds for roads, maintenance and services falling short is simply all the evidence that anyone ever needed to justify criticism of Council’s management practices over a very long period of time.
The obvious culture within the organisation to obfuscate and deceive got past the auditors and the Audit Committee.
Obviously the forensic auditors were given a brief that did not require them to consider Council’s investment procedures of the past. Otherwise the $19 million lost on risky collateralised debt obligations (CDO’s) would have got a mention.
Over the years CCBR has been highly critical of the administration of Gosford City Council. It now appears we had good reason to be so.
We haven’t reported on the PwC Report as this has been done in the mass media.
Suffice to say that every former councillor, even those elected at the last election and wouldn’t appear to be culpable, must be held accountable as any company director would be. Innocent though they be.
Whether the ICAC or the Auditor-General comes up with anything is another matter.
Suffice to say that CCBR has been justified in questioning over many years for the two Central Coast Councils to be amalgamated.
While on the subject of Council we are six months out from elections that will see a new Central Coast Council elected.
So one would have thought that by now a few candidates would have put their hands up.
CCBR understands that some of the old guard from both councils will be running but the Central Coast community is entitled to see a lot of new blood come into Council.
The State Government has handed us a great opportunity to set a new path for our future. A future that should see a prosperous region with great opportunities for our young people who will want to grow up, go to school, get a trade or university degree and have a good well paid job and raise a family right here in a region that we all say is a great place to live.
The two major parties will of course field a team of candidates across all the five wards. So let’s be clear. Party hacks are not wanted.
Our community needs people who are intelligent, have a desire to see our region prosper and be a leader promoting a sound and happy life on the Central Coast.
Will it happen? Only if these people put their hand up.
Finally, Central Coast Council is calling for Expressions of Interest from the aviation industry to lease space at Warnervale Airport
(see page 10).
As usual it is drawing out the usual antiairport people who have been against this great piece of infrastructure for the past 25 years.
Some very selfish people even want it sold off.
Meanwhile the great Dick Smith has weighed into the argument.
Having been misinformed that Council was selling the airport he issued a media release opposing the sale and came out in support.
“The potential of an expanded Warnervale airport is staggering when it comes to employing people and bringing wealth to the area,” he said.
So perhaps we can enlist his significant political support to get this airport developed the way it should be.