LIVINGSTONE Shire councillor Glenda Mather turned up at yesterday's budget meeting not knowing which way she was going to vote.
That's because last week, she had found out the council had lost a "works gang" working on drainage in a rural Livingstone area.
"So, I'm thinking has the bush (residents living in rural areas) got another raw deal," she said in her budget meeting address.
"We have to clearly demonstrate to the bush that 'we do value you', as much as we value the CBD."
Mayor Bill Ludwig was quick to retort in his final address.
"I will beg to differ with my fellow councillor, we have not forgotten the bush... $15 million on roads, that includes flood and causeway projects right throughout the shire," he said.
"Councillors Wyatt and Hutton have been up to Marlborough and down to Keppel Sands, visiting places in between, to ensure the bush does get its say.
"For five years the bush has been saying it wants a rate freeze, this council has heard them and has given them that."
Yesterday's budget was unanimously agreed on and passed.
Projects in the budget include $5.8 million on new regional tourism and leisure infrastructure and business attractions and $30 million over the next four years to deliver Panorama Drive.
A general rates rise has been fixed at 4.6%.