The Queensland Government has announced the appointment of a financial controller in a bid to reverse the fortunes of the struggling Torres Strait Island Regional Council.


State Local Government Minister, David Crisfulli, said the decision to appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers as a financial controller had been made following a report by the Auditor General, who had concluded that the council was on the verge of financial collapse owing to a record of incomplete financial reporting and unpaid wages and superannuation contributions.


The Auditor General’s report showed unpaid wages of over $4 million, with a potential shortfall in the cash balance of more than $500,000.


There was also a lack of documentation to support payroll adjustments and allowances, with questions arising over the legitimacy of senior council employees claiming overtime.


“While there is precedence for Councils in financial distress to have an administrator appointed, the Local Government Department wants to give the new Council every opportunity to turn this around,” Mr Crisafulli said.


PricewaterhouseCoopers have begun work immediately.