Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Funding Cuts Divide Candidates

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Funding Cuts Divide Candidates

Article excerpt

Byline: Emma Clarke emma.clarke@capnews.com.au

TWO days out from local government elections, there is a chance Capricorn Enterprise could suffer cuts of up to $200,000 from their annual income come the new council term.

While funding could also remain unchanged, four of the six mayoral candidates are waiting until after the election to make a decision on Capricorn Enterprise's funding future. Rockhampton Regional Council funds Capricorn Enterprise $100,000 per annum, a value matched dollar-for-dollar by the State Government.

In 2013, council cut $200,000 from Capricorn Enterprise funding, a blow softened by an additional $100,000 boost from the State Government.

Capricorn Enterprise claimed in an email to their members on Tuesday that mayoral candidate Michael McMillan and his team were "providing unequivocal support to the ongoing efforts of Capricorn Enterprise in both tourism and economic development".

The "unequivocal support" was something Mr McMillan was unable to confirm yesterday.

He said he was awaiting the outcome of Saturday's election results to take any funding changes to the council table for discussion.

"We would not be in a position to determine if the current $100,000 per annum contribution to Capricorn Enterprise would remain static until we are given an opportunity (to) undertake this review," Mr McMillan said.

"A Team McMillan led Rockhampton Regional Council would immediately look to revisit existing arrangements with Capricorn Enterprise and other key external service providers, in order to determine if the present agreement and mandate align with the new council's agenda and is delivering the desired return on investment for the ratepayer." Mr McMillan said, if mayor, he would cancel his small business membership with Capricorn Enterprise as it was a "conflict of interest".

The email, addressed to Capricorn Enterprise members in the Rockhampton Regional Council boundary, said a "result of our mail-out and responses to questions on notice at various community forums to both mayoral and councillor candidates within the Rockhampton Regional Council electoral boundary, is that mayoral candidate Michael McMillan and his team are providing unequivocal support to the ongoing efforts of Capricorn Enterprise in both tourism and economic development as well as our focus on important regional priority projects". …

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