Livingstone council hands down $16.75 capital works program

10.25am: THE new Livingstone shire has confirmed the 38 jobs cut and 5% rate rise, along with approving $16.75 million of expenditure on a healthy capital works programme in today's inaugural budget

A press release just issued stated the council had to make some tough decisions when bringing down it's first budget.

Under the terms of the de-amalgamation regulation Rockhampton Regional Council was allowed to allocate about 60 more positions than Livingstone actually required to efficiently and effectively run council's operations.

"As a result council has been put in the invidious position of having to advise up to 38 staff, a number of whom had been long-serving Rockhampton City Council staff, that they are not required for the effective and efficient operation of the new Livingstone Shire Council," Mayor Ludwig said.

"This was a joint recommendation from Transfer Manager Graeme Kanofski and the new Livingstone senior management team. The decision has saddened Councillors and was certainly not taken lightly."

"Council has listened to the community's voice and responded by committing funds to projects that they have identified as being of high importance," said Mayor Ludwig.

Capital works projects in this Budget include $3.8 million expenditure on rural roads and floodways. This amount includes $680,000 to upgrade and seal 1.85 kms of Cobraball Road, $1.3 million to resheet unsealed roads and $600,000 for floodways throughout the Shire.

Mayor Bill Ludwig also announced that Council has made significant investment into public facilities which will benefit residents and tourists alike.

"Libraries are an integral part of our community and it is important that they are accessible and comfortable spaces for those residents and visitors who use them.

"At Yeppoon Library $100,000 will be spent to replace the wheelchair lift and a further $40,000 to replace the air-conditioning," Mayor Ludwig said.

"Emu Park Library will be extended to cater for a new Customer Service Centre. This expenditure of $100,000 is proof of Council's commitment to improved service delivery," Mayor Ludwig said.

High use, public spaces will receive a boost with $29,000 put toward maintenance of Yeppoon Foreshore lighting, $135,000 for the construction of a toilet block on Zilzie Esplanade and $60,000 for connection of the Fisherman's Beach public toilet to sewer.

Funding for significant water and sewerage projects will include $1.26 million for a water supply pipe to the Emu Park West Reservoir, $325,000 for Stage 2 of drainage works for Keppel Sands and $375,000 to upgrade the Bill Kingel Caravan Park waste water treatment plant at Keppel Sands.

10.15am: LIVINGSTONE ratepayers will be slugged with a 5% rate rise and 38 jobs are to be slashed on the Livingstone council, according to reports.

The Bulletin staff have confirmed the 38 job cuts, but are still in the meeting at the Capricorn Coast and have not confirmed the 5% rate rise.

Other local media have reported the rate rise via Twitter.

More to come.

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