UPDATED 15 May 201, 9.29am.
A senior officer from the Department of Housing and Community Development has reviewed council’s budget process, in particular its treatment of the Civic Centre (above) loan repayment, and confirmed there has been no irregularity.
Concerns about this had been raised by Councillor Eli Melky, the key proponent of repayment of the loan in full.
Although the loan had been repaid, Cr Melky suggested that its repayments were still being budgeted for.
This was denied by Director of Finance Dinesh Pillay and CEO Rex Mooney, and their position has now been confirmed by the department’s senior officer.
To dispel any lingering doubt, she advised Mr Pillay to explicitly report this in his Financial Performance statement (as at 30 April 2018), which appears in the business papers for the current month.
It shows a breakdown of capital expenditure on plant and equipment, roads and footpaths, and building infrastructure, with the full amount of the loan repayment subtracted, being $1,247,199.
Mr Mooney confirmed Mr Pillay’s verbal report to councillors at last night’s finance committee meeting. A letter from the department’s CEO is expected, stating that there are no grounds to warrant a formal investigation under the Act.
Cr Melky was an apology at last night’s meeting for personal reasons.
Mr Pillay also told council that the NT Government is not levying a property tax, sometimes referred to as a land tax. This was confirmed by the Treasurer Nicole Manison in her budget briefing which he attended. Council had vehemently opposed the introduction of such a tax.
– Kieran Finnane