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New policies are 'already in place'

Friday, 31st August, 2012

By Erica Visser

Nine out of 10 of Team Black's local election policies are already in place, according to Mayor Wincen Cuy.

Former mayor, Peter Black, presented his 10-step policy platform at a community forum on Tuesday night.

It included issues such as fiscal responsibility, a "clean, green city", maintenance of infrastructure and a focus on tourism, civic pride and aged
care.

But Mayor Cuy said that all but one of the issues put forward had already been on Council's agenda.

"We just heard 10 points from a platform - nine of them we already do," Mayor Cuy said.

"I don't understand how we are going to advance forward when we already undertake nine of those points and all they'll be doing is reinvigorating them."

The policy Council does not have was presumably buying the $1 million Milton Lavers Mineral Collection.

Another point of conflict between the incumbent mayor and Mr Black was the retiring of Council's debt.

Council has still not had an audit of its financial situation completed and is under watch by the State Government.

Mr Black pledged that if elected he would leave Council debt-free by the end of his term.

"It is a major disgrace that we still don't know, the people of Broken Hill, let alone the State Government, the true financial position of our Council," Mr Black said.

"Our Council is still on the State watchlist and it's not something we should take lightly.

"Council is a multimillion dollar business. Surely it must be in a position to answer to its shareholders. We've got a situation where we don't know what the true financial position is.

"I've been asked many times how I would eliminate debt - the single greatest issue, $7.5 million, and going up.

"I say going up because we all know Council is intent on borrowing a further million, intent on the haulage road or whatever.

"When I became mayor I was saddled with a heap of debt but not one of my budgets was a deficit budget. There's nobody here tonight denying that.

"If I get elected I will retire debt. I've done it once, I'll do it again."

But Mayor Cuy said that there was nothing that could be done to retire debt more quickly unless services or jobs were cut.

"We're retiring the debt now as we speak - we've retired $700,000 worth of debt," he said.

"Yes, there has been loans but did this Council take them all out? No - four million were introduced under administration."

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