the Breeze

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THE COUNCILLOR WHO JUST DOESN’T GET IT: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY! First term Redland City Councillor Adelia Berridge has had our islands in her sights and the entire council 2022-23 budget. She is featured in a story on the opposite page. What Cr Berridge doesn’t seem to understand is how finance works. Yes, council has increased its borrowings significantly to fund some major infrastructure projects that are intergenerational. What Cr Berridge does not realise or understand is that councils in Australia borrow their money from sources compared to the ordinary citizen. Redland City Council’s major source of funding is via the Queensland Treasury and some banking institutions. Councils do not pay the rates set by the commercial banks that immediately pass on Reserve Bank rate changes to their customers immediately, and attach several points of interest for their extraordinary profits. Redland City Council is currently borrowing $70 million at a rate of approx 4% interest. It represents small borrowings indeed when compared to council’s cash reserves which currently stand at a stunning $200 million (YES $200 million!) earning interest. Basically, Redland City Council is virtually a near dept and deficit free council, that others would envy. Council has the cash reserves to handle any situation, but wishes to maintain that high level whilst using ‘other people’s money’ for necessary intergenerational infrastructure. It’s called CLEVER BUSINESS! When it comes to the ‘projects’ that council has on its list for community works, Cr Berridge would like to scrap most of these projects so she can fund a playground in Division 9! What the councillor does not seem to understand is that people are flocking to this area of Queensland at a stunning rate. Little can be done to stem the flow, so it has to be accommodated. It also needs to be remembered that all these newcomers to the Redlands Coast and our islands also become ratepayers and are a further source of income to council. Funding multiple expansions and projects is what Cr Berridge and the rest of the councillors were elected TO DO ON OUR BEHALF. Cr Berridge says it ‘does my head in’. It is known that several at council, including staff, have endeavoured to ‘explain’ the above situation to Cr Berridge, but seemingly with little success. She also needs to understand she is a councillor for all of the Redlands, not just Division 9. She has admitted she has never visited the SMB Islands. Amazing! Instead of understanding, she has undertaken a press barrage of misinformation that has confused and frightened many ratepayers. Unfortunate indeed. And if it ‘does her head in’ perhaps she should consider her options and resign or not stand again for Division 9 in 18 months time.