‘We’re the odd person out’: Handford

MidCoast Council interim general manager, Glenn Handford.
Nanjing Night Net

RELATED STORIES:Plan to ‘pillage’ MidCoast WaterCommunity to benefit from new directionMove to dissolve water into councilLook north, saysGlenn Handford. The interim general manager of MidCoast Council cites Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Nambucca, Richmond Valley, Tweed, Byron and Ballina in his defence of the proposal to merge MidCoast Water into MidCoast Council.

“They all run their own water and sewer systems as part of the general purpose council,” Mr Handford said.

“We’re the odd person out in terms of management structure …all of our rates data is the same, all of our billing information is the same, so why wouldn’t you try to get some efficiencies for the consumer by bringing those back office functions back into the general purpose council?”

Mr Handford this week refuted comments made by former MidCoast Water general manager, Neil Hanington that the proposal was a grab for money and assets.

“Things weren’t all that rosy in the Garden of Eden that was Great Lakes Council. Some of the systems in Great Lakes Council were archaic,” Mr Hanington said.

“MidCoast Water has a new $3.2 million computer system, they’ve got a new GPS system and that would more than cover the MidCoast Council area and they have more modern project management plans, safety management plans andasset management plans.

“The new council can’t operate without these new modern systems –it is a complete impossibility on the existing systems they have -it’s impossible for them to run an efficient organisation.” Read the related story, Plan to ‘pillage’ MidCoast Water.

Mr Handford says “all of our computer systems are up-to-date”.

“We are running current versions of all our software programs. We do need to integrate our systems, without a doubt. It doesn’t matter whether MidCoast Water comes back in or not the new merged entity has to come up with a common software platform so that we can operate effectively and efficiently,” Mr Handford said.

“The general manager of MidCoast Water has identified about $2.5 million in savings and as I’ve been saying, $2.5 million is $2.5 million and it may end up being more than that, but initially why can’t that go towards roads or bridges or some other infrastructure that’s required for the MidCoast Council community?

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