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FCATA – Blog 3

January 19, 2011

Good news tonight … late this afternoon I received an e-mail from Lisa Desmond, Acting CEO and she sent me a copy of the Pool’s operating Budget for 2009-10 and to date for 2010-11.  The data these budgets contain allow you to draw a very different picture to that concluded by the summary numbers appearing in the Councils Annual Budget publication.  Mayor Kruger had denied me access to these reports an I quote:

‘ … The Council operates the pools as a community service obligation to the Fraser Coast Region as are many other services that Council provides. …   … Whilst Council could process your request under RTI, [Right for Information] you may still not get the figures that you are seeking due to possible exemptions under the RTI Act due to information which may be subject to ‘tendering arrangements’ in the near future. … ‘

I appealed the matter to the State Minister for Local Government … Ms Desmond’s communication this evening has produced the budgets asked for, and I thank her for that.

The other bit of good news was that Mr Peter Smith [Director Community & Development, Fraser Coast Council], rang me late today as well.  I had left 3-4 messages for him over the last 7-10 days – and with the flood issues and concerns – I was not really expecting a return call any time soon.  I had also been a bit rough on Mr Smith leading up to the Christmas break re the ongoing battle over the concession-card discount matter.

Mr Smith informed me that he thinks that the Fraser Coast Council has applied for a Federal funding grant under the Healthier Communities Initiation due for submission by the 4th Feb 2011.  He also was quite helpful when I asked if I could see the application to get an idea of what will be required in 2013 when the FCATA plans to make its formal application.  He intends to chase all that up tomorrow and if the flow of data happens – perhaps we just might start to see some positive responses from Council in the next month or so.

And yes, there is another good piece of news – Cr Sue Brooks – someone who has gone toe-to-toe with me as they say – has also done a back-flip.  With all the good news yesterday with the cold-calls to the Carer Organisations I made, I sent a thank-you message to them all for showing their interest and giving them some more background detail about the program.

I sent a copy of that message to ‘All-Councillors’ and to a few other people who are on the mailing list as well.  Cr Brooks then saw fit late last night to liaise with the same Carer people the message was sent to with the following message:

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‘ …  Speaking personally I believe Council will give whatever support it can to such a programme. Community based organisations have opportunities to apply for funding under the Council grants programme and Council can assist in other ways also. My understanding is that at this time Council does not have the capacity or priority to actually form or run such a group itself.
In relation to pool entry prices our pricing is, generally speaking, reasonably cheap compared to other public pool facilities and Council will be setting pool entry prices every year as part of the budget process. So it is possible that Council will alter pool entry pricing in the future.
I wish Ian every success in developing this programme as I do believe it would be beneficial to many residents.
Cheers, Sue
Councillor Sue Brooks
Environment portfolio
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Sent from a Fraser Coast Regional Council BlackBerry Wireless Handheld … ‘

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I am not too sure what Cr Brooks thought she was doing – but I certainly believe she had good intentions when she made a decision to liaise with these contacts.  In essence – her message represented a complete back-flip to her last lot of messages she sent me only 1-2 days previously.  I could make an assumption – but I won’t.  But I am thankful Cr Brooks appears to have come some way from her original positin.

Tomorrow is another day and it starts early – the ABC Wide Bay interview playback that was to be on this morning – is now on for tomorrow morning.  Hopefully that will give some more coverage and I think the Chronicle might be doing a follow up to correct a few of the Council spokesperson’s mis-truths published today.

The feedback has been all a big positive – except for what I suspect as a couple of ‘plant’ comments to the Chronicle’s story today.  With the follow-up – that should communicate the correct data.

cya  … bleyzie.

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For ease of access – the FORM to allow submissions of INTERESTs in the Aqua Therapy program is now being included at the end of every post – Please if you are interested in being part of the program – as a volunteer or a participant – please complete the form below.  Please note: These are just indication of interest – nothing is committed or being asked of anybody who responds.

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Thank you for completing this questionnaire and indicating your interest in this proposed new Community service for the Fraser Coast region.

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