Gympie Mayor Glen Hartwig has defended the council budget after the lone councillor who voted against it, took to social media questioning why half a million dollars is being wasted on office furniture.
Councillor Dolly Jensen says the council is bleeding money for no good reason also citing $8000 being spent on a water fountain at an Imbil park as an example.
“This is a bigger bleed and I hope that we haven’t severed a main artery by voting in a budget like this one,” she wrote on Facebook.
Cr Dolly requested a breakdown of a $500,000 spend on office furniture but says her questions went unanswered.
“When I demanded an answer, I was calmly told that it came out of the staff survey,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Once again, I said, if that’s a result of the staff survey then perhaps they need better working conditions. How the hell will new office chairs fix poor culture?
“Now is not the time to be matching the curtains to the carpets.
“You know, you don’t redecorate your house when you’ve got water and sewage backing up outside.”
But Cr Hartwig says the $500,000 outlay is for a lot more than office furniture.
“Bloody office chairs, my arse. Not likely,” Cr Hartwig says.
“It’s about housing people. We’re not leasing buildings off people and spending a fortune.
“The reality is we will get a return on our investment in about 18 months.”
The Gympie Council $115.79 million budget was endorsed by the council last month.
Cr Hartwig says the council is no longer leasing the Wesley Hall saving ratepayers more than $200,000 a year.
“By rejigging our staff and reconfiguring, we are also saving $50,000 a year on housing the IT people,” he says.
“I know $50,000 is going to town hall because at the moment air conditioning in there during summer can be as cold as a beer fridge one minute and hot as a pie warmer the next.”
Image: Gympie Regional Council