MP slams council for focusing on CSG instead of finance

Lockyer LNP MP Ian Rickuss
Lockyer LNP MP Ian Rickuss Inga Williams

COAL seam gas is not even mined in the Lockyer Valley, but it continues to ignite fights between the region's state MP and the local council.

On Wednesday night Ian Rickuss made a speech to parliament condemning the Lockyer Valley Regional Council for worrying about coal seam gas instead of focusing on its financial woes.

The Lockyer LNP MP also tabled a Queensland Audit Office financial 2014 report showing huge financial losses for council's Staging Post Cafe Restaurant and other services.

"So we can all go there and buy a nice cup of coffee," Mr Rickuss said.

"The only problem is that it loses $512,000 a year."

The document also showed a $171,000 deficit for childcare services and $131,000 for roads.

"We are roughly up to $812,000 - $50 or $60 per ratepayer," Mr Rickuss said.

"The council has to start to concentrate more on its core business and get out of its loss-making businesses."

Mayor Steve Jones disputed the figures, saying they would be completely different now and that would be revealed in the upcoming council budget.

But he said there would always be deficits.

"Most of those (services) will always have some sort of deficit because they are services to the community," Cr Jones said.

"It's just we've got a local member who wants to highlight it."

He said the core of the problem was Mr Rickuss's unwillingness to state his position on CSG.

"He comes back with all these furphies and attacks ... all so he doesn't have to answer," Cr Jones said.

Cr Jones said while there was no exploration or CSG mining in the area, the council wanted to ensure it would continue that way.

"There's no place like (the Lockyer Valley) for horticulture," he said.

Topics:  csg finance ian rickuss lockyer valley lockyer valley regional council mining

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