Budget tackles growth pressures
RATE rises, road upgrades and a new aquatic centre.
Some expected and unexpected announcements were made at Gladstone Regional Council's 2012-13 budget meeting yesterday.
Gladstone's Mayor Gail Sellers and the eight councillors announced their plans for Gladstone's economic future, while ensuring short-term decisions were in line with council's Long Term Financial Plan.
The $328 million budget focused on repairing existing infrastructure, while developing new projects in the fast-growing mining region.
Gladstone Regional Council CEO Stuart Randle said the council was still in surplus, despite investing in large scale projects such as the Gladstone Regional Airport and Gladstone Entertainment Centre redevelopments.
"Council is taking on more debt this year as part of this budget, with the majority of that to service the Gladstone Entertainment Centre project, which is a $20 million investment," Mr Randle said.
"The debt is ...$120 million, which is a significant amount of money... but we are still very comfortable when it comes to servicing that debt."
Cr Sellers said council would be challenged by balancing the pressures of growth. The challenge for this council remains to balance the pressures of growth, while operating in an environment that is producing a number of affordability issues," Cr Sellers said.
Sun Valley resident Russell Groth, and son Mason, said they were looking forward to the new infrastructure that would be delivered to the community, including new playgrounds and an aquatic centre.
"It's amazing they have decided to invest in some new play equipment for the kids," Mr Groth said.
This year the council's Long Term Financial Plan was awarded a sound rating by the Queensland Treasury Corporation.