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Mayor Hartwig: You Will Be Able To Hold Us To Account

Gympie region Mayor, Glen Hartwig, said the 2020/2021 Council budget will “go some way to help alleviate some of Council’s significant financial strain” after it was endorsed by Council this morning at a Special Meeting.

Speaking after the meeting, Mayor Hartwig said the budget process was “difficult.”

“There is no shying away from the fact this budget was extremely challenging,” Mayor Hartwig said.

“As a council we have done our best to claw back some of the deficit we inherited.

“This budget focuses on financial repair and the return to core services as needed by our community as we restore, rebuild to bring us back to a strong financial foundation.

“As a group we had to make some extremely tough calls and we know that there will be some in our community who will be affected more than others as a result of this budget.

“To those residents I say, this council has done its best given what we have to work with.

“There has been a number of unprecedented challenges, like COVID-19 and the economic impact it has had.

“We are getting back to basics and this budget has the rate payer firmly at front of mind.

“Our objective is to make sure we are delivering our core services well and in a financially responsible way.

“This budget is a line in the sand. Over our four-year term, you will be able to see how we are tracking and hold us to account.

“I wish to thank my fellow councillors and Council staff who have assisted greatly in this process,” Mayor Hartwig said.

You can view the full budget document at www.gympie.qld.gov.au

A message from Mayor Glen Hartwig - Wednesday, 13 August 2020 A message from Mayor Glen Hartwig - Wednesday, 13 August 2020

Queensland has been, to date, very fortunate not to see the resurgence of the COVID-19 numbers that New South Wales and Victoria have been experiencing. This doesn’t mean that we are in the clear, and unfortunately not everyone is or will do the right thing as we have seen over the past week or two. If anything, it’s a good reminder for us all to make sure we continue to social distance, wash our hands and stay home if we’re not well and keep our part of the world safe. 

No-one wants to go back into lockdown if numbers were to rise; it’s hard on families and the vulnerable in our community. I also feel for the local businesses, particularly in Victoria as they were already struggling with the first wave and now find themselves back in lockdown once again. It’s not surprising to hear that a percentage won’t ever reopen their doors again. For any business, let alone a small family run business, this is tragic. 

The effect of businesses closing has a huge impact on the community. Staff will be let go, finding themselves jobless with rising unemployment rates. Other companies or businesses who provided stock or material, leases, cleaners - there are so many who now lose more income, putting their business at risk. These local businesses are also often the first to sponsor or support the local community group or school raffle. 

Many will be left with debt after closing and may find it hard to put food on the table for the family. The ramifications are huge and not just a closed sign on the door. 

We may not have the lockdowns, but we do have many local businesses who are still finding their feet and there is one very simple way that you and I can help.

Buy local. 

Support our local businesses which in turn helps the entire community. If you can, head out for a coffee or lunch, research online for anything you need but buy the product locally. 

We have some of the best businesses within our region who will serve you with a smile and offer great service and knowledge. COVID-19 is not over. We need to remember to do our part; wash our hands, always social distance and, if we can, buy local. 

Mayor Glen Hartwig

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