QUESTIONED: QTC will not confirm SDRC were on a watch list.
QUESTIONED: QTC will not confirm SDRC were on a watch list. Barry Leddicoat

Qld Treasury Corp watch list questioned

QUEENSLAND Treasury Corporation will not confirm that Southern Downs Regional Council has been on a financial watch list.

This follows questions from the community to The Border Post as to whether a watch list has existed.

In a story published by The Border Post on November 27, Mayor Tracy Dobie said the council was no longer on a watch list after slashing its debt by one-third during the past two years.

The Border Post has sought confirmation from Queensland Treasury Corporation, who said:

"QTC is under an obligation of commercial confidentiality on all engagements we undertake for client councils, including Financial Sustainability Reviews.”

The newspaper also contacted the Queensland Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs, where a spokesperson said loan funding was decided on a case by case basis.

"Each application for borrowing is assessed individually with regards to the liquidity and debt servicing capacity of the local government.”

The Southern Downs Regional Council underwent an audit in 2017 which indicated the council had an improving trend on minimising debt.

After taking office in 2016, the council resolved to pay around $2million off its debt each year, and as a result debt went from about $31million in 2016 to $22million in the first quarter of 2018-19.

Cr Dobie said the removal from the watch list meant the council could borrow money again, however, it has no plans to borrow.

She said the reduction in debt was a weight taken off the council and would result in it being able to keep rates to a minimum and save for capital works.

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