BANANA Shire Council feels its staff, capable of doing a state-required project, will be sitting idle in order to get a subsidy.

Council’s Commercial Services director Andrew Reid said council had been advised by the state director leading the fluoridation scheme that there was limited funds left available for councils looking at claiming a subsidy.

He said council had also been advised to contract the work out to be eligible for the subsidy.

“We do have capable staff here that are basically being told to sit on their backsides,” Mr Reid said.

He said there were three or four firms in Queensland doing the required works.

The State Government announced a program of works in February 2008 to fluoridate Queensland’s water supplies by 2012 — the deadline for Banana Shire.

According to the Department of Infrastructure and Planning website, for communities outside of South East Queensland, the Infrastructure Project Management Group (IPMG) would administer the process of selecting a pre-qualified list of suppliers to oversee the design, supply and installation of fluoridation plant and equipment in existing water treatments plants not already fluoridating water.

The Gladstone Area Water Board outsourced its design and construction parts of the project to have Gladstone region water fluoridated, completing the implementation of the water fluoridation project to meet the requirements of fluoridated water supply by December 2009.

“We were within the timeline and we met specifications, so we received full subsidisation from the State Government for the upgrade,” GAWB chief executive officer Jim Grayson said.

Banana Shire Council will have to fluoride water being supplied to Biloela and Moura.

Mr Reid said the state director was expected to brief the council on Monday.