Lifestyle? budget adds value for residents
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE mayor Peter Corones described it as a 'lifestyle' budget, with more than $4.56 million going towards parks, gardens, streets and environmental areas.
One of the biggest winners from the 2005/06 budget will be the Emmadale Park area, with residents finally getting the playground they have been crying out for for years, with an allocation of $128,500.
A further $220,800 has been allocated for other parks within the city, 'a definite commitment by council in adding value to the lifestyle of its residents,'' according to Cr Corones.
The most important leisure project to be funded through the recent budget is the long-awaited CBD revitalisation.
At a cost of $2 million, stage one will redevelop the Library Square, with work to start in September and be completed in March next year.
The council will also take the necessary steps to free up extra land for such 'lifestyle' developments.
Feasibility studies will be performed on the racecourse land and the possibility of its relocation, as well as possible future uses for the showground, with Cr Corones stating the show had become stagnant and unable to grow.
The Gladstone Entertainment Centre will have its general running costs cut by about $35,000, but it will receive more for maintenance funds with the council allocating $253,500 towards building and capital costs.
Cr Corones said the regular running costs were cut due to losses the Entertainment Centre made last year, while the need to put money into maintenance of the building was recognised due to its age.
A promise made by the council earlier in the year was also made good yesterday when its doubled its annual allocation to the Gladstone Harbour Festival.
In announcing the annual contribution of $30,000, Cr Corones said the Harbour Festival played an important part in the community. 'We believe the Harbour Festival fulfills a great need in our community,' he said.
'I mean, it's our show, really.'
Gladstone's road network will also receive a boost in an attempt to link the newest sub divisions with the rest of the city.
'Residents in the newest subdivisions of the city will be pleased to see the inclusion in the budget of a further amount of $1.31 million towards the Kirkwood Road project,' Cr Corones said.