Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Margaret Strelow.
Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Margaret Strelow. Contributed

Rocky Mayor's positive rates message after region's bad news

MORE than 70% of Rockhampton Region's ratepayers face a rates hike of less than $3 a week.

In her fortnightly Morning Bulletin column, Mayor Margaret Strelow today delivers some good news for the region following this week's major blow as Aurizon announced its plan to close Rockhampton's rollingstock workshop, leading to big job losses.

READ: 'Angry, empty': Axed Rocky worker left choking back tears.

Here is Cr Strelow's column:

The average Rockhampton ratepayer will be facing a rate rise of less than 2% in the budget I will present to the community later this month.

And that budget already includes Council's $10m South Rockhampton levee bank contribution paid over four years.

The budget is not yet finalised and of course Council will then need to formally adopt the budget, but I wanted to start talking about the budget now to help set minds at ease.

It's a tough time at the moment in the Rockhampton Region and Councillors are keen to do what we can to help limit personal and commercial hardship.

We know that with four floods in 10 years and now the Aurizon announcement we really need to shape our budget to keep the rates as low as possible.

The challenge for governments at times like this is that it is often "government built" infrastructure that keeps the economy going while we wait for private enterprise projects to pick up.

Thankfully the hard work we did a few years ago to tighten our spending and to begin to pay off debt has left us in a good position to be able to play our part.

You will see an absolute feast of great projects right across the Region over the coming eight months.

Many are already underway and funded by the State Government Works for Queensland project or by Council.

And of course there has been a contribution by all levels of Government to the Riverbank Development.

It's important that Governments invest in the things that not only give jobs for here and now but also reap rewards in the future.

The South Rockhampton levee bank will deliver immediate jobs and ultimately pay for itself.

So we are ready to work with both State and Federal Governments on the levees and to look for other opportunities for our community.

We have had more than enough bad news.

Margaret Strelow

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