Christmas Tree Settling into Nelson Reserve
The Hoop Pine Christmas tree is settling in at Nelson Reserve and is being well cared for as we count down the days until Christmas.
The lights, as voted for by the community, have arrived, however the building of the structure which surrounds the tree and supports the lights will not be ready in time for Christmas this year.
Due to the amount and weight of the lights, they cannot be placed directly on the tree as it settles into its new home and council needs to ensure the tree is healthy to serve the community for many years to come.
As a short-term solution for the 2019 Christmas season, Council has purchased lightweight bud lights which will be placed on the tree. These lights were going to be used to update the 5 ways Christmas tree, however they will shine bright at Nelson Reserve this year.
Gympie Regional Council will have the tree sparkling just a little differently this year for the community and families to enjoy. The scheduled lighting of the tree event will also be postponed to December 2020 and will coincide with the launch of the new lighting system.
Council Elves will be out and about this week to begin decorating both the CBD and Nelson Reserve Christmas trees.
There are many moments in life that stand out for all of us. Last week was one for myself when during the ordinary meeting on Wednesday, councillors were told by the Acting CFO,
“When Council adopted its budget for the 2019-2020 financial year, it forecast insufficient cash reserves at years’ end to maintain business operations.”
This comment stopped me in my tracks as we were never told this information, at any stage, during our budget deliberations for the 2019-2020 financial year. To hear this now is both frustrating and more than disappointing. I often use the metaphor of the titanic, but it’s how we as councillors feel and I’m sure how you as residents feel; we knew the iceberg was coming and did nothing about it.
And you’ve got to ask the question, why weren’t we told?
The most frustrating part is that the fallout and repercussions are huge. You can’t get past the basic fact that, had we known and addressed our financial issues back then, we wouldn’t be in the financial mess we are in now where budget cuts are not just a necessity, they are unavoidable.
Councillors continue to work on the budget and look at all options on how we can repair the damage, and we will, but it’s going to take time and we need to earn your trust by our actions.
We are on the right path, and will take another step on Thursday. A special meeting has been called to consider the appointment of a new CEO. And we will announce any decisions made as soon as we are able. There are exciting changes ahead, and a new direction for your Council.