WHILE Mayor Margaret Strelow remains tight-lipped on the specifics of the council budget, she yesterday admitted it would take a couple of years before council finances would be where she wanted them.
Speaking to The Morning Bulletin from the Civic Leaders and Financial Summit on the Sunshine Coast, Cr Strelow said it was time for council to pull back and stop borrowing.
Cr Strelow said council had to count its pennies and be careful because there was no-one to save council from debt.
"The challenge is pre-committed projects," she said.
But Cr Strelow earlier said it was too soon to elaborate on the council budget, with it not due until July 26.
During the election she promised to keep rates close to CPI, which has risen by 1.6% through the year to the March quarter.
Cr Strelow may be a step closer to keeping her promise after the Newman Government yesterday announced its Royalties for Regions program.
Rockhampton Regional Council is one of 14 councils that will be able to apply to the State Government for funding for infrastructure projects from September.
Eligible councils are those with communities experiencing negative impacts from large-scale developments, their roles as service centres or as hosts of major infrastructure projects linked to resource developments, such as the mining boom.
Cr Strelow was excited about the program, spontaneously listing two projects she hoped to put forward. They were water and sewage treatment plants for Gracemere and the Bill Kingel Caravan Park at Keppel Sands.
Cr Strelow said councils had only been given the "broad brush strokes" of the program yesterday and Tuesday.
She said council would not go on a spending spree and would only be applying for funding for projects that had already been identified by council.
"We'll do the things we need to do," Cr Strelow said.
ROYALTIES FOR REGIONS
- Resource Community Building Fund, $170 million over four years
- Roads to Resources, $285 million over four years
- Floodplain Security Scheme, $40 million over four years, with $40 million funding to be sought from the Commonwealth and $20 million from local governments