Mayors hit back in funds debate

NORTHERN mayors have responded to comments from Launceston City Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski about the funding of regional facilities. 

On Monday, Mr Dobrzynski intimated Launceston ratepayers shouldered an unfair burden because other councils did not contribute to the cost of facilities enjoyed by their residents.  

Meander Valley Mayor Craig Perkins hit back, saying joint funding would necessitate joint decisions.  

``They make decisions and then suggest we should be paying for it,'' he said.  

``You can't spend $30 million (on Launceston Aquatic) then ask the region to pay for it without talking to the region beforehand.''

West Tamar Mayor Barry Easther said a regional pool strategy had called for an outdoor facility in West Tamar and an indoor centre in Launceston. 

``(The Launceston City Council) had to have the biggest and best, gold-plated indoor and outdoor with all the whizzbangs,'' he said. 

``Blind Freddy could have told them that they weren't going to break even.''

It's not the first time tensions have simmered between councils over issues such as funding and amalgamation.  

Cr Easther said he was speaking out because he was ``sick and tired of the snide remarks that come from Robert all the time'', which threatened to derail co-operative projects.  

He said the Northern councils elected Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten to head Northern Tasmanian Development, which lobbied for the region.

Mr Dobrzynski will need the support of Northern councils to drive his pet project _ the Greater Launceston Plan. 

Cr Perkins said it was a good plan to get councils co-operating, but Mr Dobrzynski's comments tended to raise concerns about a hidden agenda. 

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