Audit office queries council
A POPULAR bike path between Ewingsdale and Byron Bay has been singled out by The Australian National Audit Office.
The 750m-long and 2.5m-wide bike path along Ewingsdale Rd was constructed using $168,500 from the $40 million National Bike Path scheme.
The scheme was developed as part of the government's efforts to stimulate the economy during the global financial crisis.
Byron Shire Council initially stated the path would create two short-term jobs and two work-experience positions.
But a council report in June 2010 then found 53 short-term jobs had been created on a 'part-time employment' basis.
The Australian National Audit Office has found many of these workers were already employed by council and the project did not meet employment expectations.
Byron Shire Council's executive manager of community infrastructure, Phil Holloway, said the problem lay with the end of project reporting.
"For smaller construction projects, there are often not full-time jobs created but a multitude of local contractors who are engaged on a project," Mr Holloway said.
"On this project, 23 external people were involved. Work undertaken included design, supply of materials and construction labour and the project was completed on time and on budget."
Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham said without the dollar-for-dollar funding the community would not have a valuable asset.
"The community had been waiting for this bikeway extension for a long-time and we are appreciative of the Federal Government's funding support to make this available."