A QUARTERLY budget report (the final report for the 2012/2013 financial year) presented at council's most recent meeting attracted criticism from Cr David Keegan, a member of council's financial investment committee.
Cr Keegan was particularly concerned that the overruns were more than $800,000 and that there was no consultation with councillors.
"Certain councillors have worked hard to control council's financial situation and it concerns me that in this age of technology we come up with an $800,000 overrun that we have to approve,'' he said.
"We now have to assume responsibility for this overrun - which is not reasonable or fair - and I want to know who is responsible and why it wasn't brought to our attention earlier."
Cr Keegan was speaking freely in 'committee of the whole', where councillors can express their thoughts in a general discussion, without being restricted by protocol.
Once the meeting returned to open council, all councillors voted to accept the quarterly budget report, except Cr Keegan.
He reiterated his concerns when speaking to the Times after the meeting.
"There are some things that are out of our control, yes, but there's substantial overruns in areas like bridge reconstruction that should not happen," Cr Keegan said.
"We've been making considerable savings, we've talked about planning and we were doing very well improving our financial situation.
"We need to get our finances in order so that we can go out and get works done from our infrastructure backlog.
"We've been looking at every facet of our spending and I'm very disappointed," he said.
"This is a massive cost overrun, when we had made dramatic improvements, but we appear to have slipped.
Mayor Paul Hogan refuted Cr Keegan's statements about the overruns, saying that when the favourable aspects of the budget report - that include the savings they had made - were taken into account, the overrun came back to just $15,000.
However Cr Keegan said without the unnecessary overruns, added to the favourable savings, council's budget could have been out of the red.
"Greater Taree City Council is a very low-rating base - one of the worst in the State - in terms of income per kilometre of road," he explained.
"It's imperative that we improve our financial situation to be able to manage our funds better so that we can then borrow and start to tackle our backlog of projects."