How did the pandemic impact Richmond Valley Council. Pic Tait Schmaal.
How did the pandemic impact Richmond Valley Council. Pic Tait Schmaal.

3 important things you missed at this week’s council meeting

RICHMOND Valley Council this week met to discuss how it fared during the 2019-20 financial year.

After a chaotic year of floods, bushfires and a pandemic, the council were able to dissect how badly it was impacted and surprisingly things weren’t as bad as might be expected.

Council’s annual report

The council will release its annual report for the 2019/20 financial year to the public by the end of the month.

Mayor Robert Mustow during Tuesday’s council meeting said the “outstanding” annual report was a reflection of the hard work of council staff to steer the community through “the hard times” of bushfire recovery, floods and COVID-19.

“I think it’s outstanding what our staff have achieved with the support of our council and the community,” Cr Mustow said.

“We’ve responded to a lot of hard and trying times and disasters and I think we’ve all come through and should be proud of what we achieved.”

>>>READ MORE: Report to show how council fared during difficult year

A road sign warning motorists of the COVID-19 QLD Border control by Queensland police enforcing the QLD state border closer due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and checking drivers as they cross from NSW to QLD at Gold Coast Highway at Bilinga. . Picture: Jerad Williams
A road sign warning motorists of the COVID-19 QLD Border control by Queensland police enforcing the QLD state border closer due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and checking drivers as they cross from NSW to QLD at Gold Coast Highway at Bilinga. . Picture: Jerad Williams


Border bubble struggles

NORTHERN Rivers councils impacted by the Queensland border closures have come up with a plan to advocate for fairer border control measures.

The Northern Rivers Joint Organisation has finalised its Position Paper on the impacts of the Queensland border restrictions.

The paper addresses the issues caused by the “border bubble”, which had excluded councils other than the Tweed Shire from entering Queensland during the height of the lockdown.

Richmond Valley Council’s general manager Vaughn Macdonald presented the paper to the council on Tuesday to show what went on “behind the scenes” during the NRJO’s advocacy efforts to reopen the border.

Mr Macdonald said the biggest impact for Richmond Valley Council was 10 projects being delayed because certain contractors relied on a cross-border workforce.

>>>READ MORE: How much did ‘border bubble’ impact Northern Rivers?

Richmond Valley Council is part of a class action against JLT Risk Solutions for alleged inflate premium covers. Photo: istock
Richmond Valley Council is part of a class action against JLT Risk Solutions for alleged inflate premium covers. Photo: istock

Legal battle over insurance premiums

RICHMOND Valley Council’s legal fight against an insurance company that allegedly stole millions of dollars from ratepayers through inflated premiums continues.

The council in 2018 joined a major class action against the UK-based multinational insurance broker JLT Risk Solutions Pty Ltd alongside 10 other rural councils, including Parkes Shire Council and Mid-Western Regional Council.

It is alleged the insurance company engaged in commercially misleading conduct.

JLT had allegedly inflated insurance premiums by 50 per cent, costing Richmond Valley Council $300,000 a year.

The class action alleges JLT breached general law and contractual obligations, as well as its fiduciary duties.

>>>READ MORE: Insurance broker accused of ripping off ratepayers $300,000