Cr Nancy Sommerfield has queried council’s spending priorities.
Cr Nancy Sommerfield has queried council’s spending priorities.

Councillor arcs up over proposal for Queens Park spending

A TOOWOOMBA councillor has queried the council's spending priorities as the council signed off on two funding applications to the $70 million Building our Regions program.

Amid discussion of a proposal to apply for funding from the State Government program for Stages 6 and 7 of works at Queens Park and the Russell Street Streetscape Refresh Design Project, Cr Nancy Sommerfield raised her concerns.

Cr Sommerfield, who is also the chair of the council's waste and water committee, said drought-affected areas such as Vale View should be made a priority for the development of water infrastructure.

"It is just terrible, those poor people have been on high water restrictions for about two months now. And it is absolutely bare," she said.

"Everyone's lawn is completely dead. Everything else around it is dying.

"And I'm really concerned that we're spending money on something like the Queen's Park project - another one," she said.

"It's not as though we're not doing anything in there. We're spending a lot of money there already. But we're not investing in water. To me water should be one of the big priorities."

Mayor Paul Antonio, who was chairing the meeting, said the community desperately needed external funding and he would be supporting the applications, which prompted Cr Sommerfield to fire back: "Oh, I'm pleased for you as chair that you can make that statement. However, I've made mine as well. As we're all entitled to do."

Cr Carol Taylor said she didn't disagree with Cr Sommerfield, but that council officers had said the two recommended projects were "most likely" to succeed under the funding application guidelines.

The environment and community committee voted in favour of endorsing the two projects, with Cr Sommerfield voting against the motion.

Crs Chris Tait, Mike Williams, Geoff McDonald and Joe Ramia did not take part in the vote.



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