Budget for 10,000 more in Rockhampton city centre
IT'S a plan that Mayor Margaret Strelow says will set the scene for the rejuvenation of Rockhampton's city centre, and council is putting aside significant funds in the next two budgets to make it happen.
And with the draft budget for 2015/16 being handed down today, council is set to unveil plans it hopes will result in an extra 10,000 people living in the city's "urban core".
"How we do that will require reshaping of our town plan," Cr Strelow said.
"We are brilliantly placed to capitalise on the desirability of inner city living … it's not just about East St, it's not just about Quay St, it's about our whole urban core.
"That will be the real focus in the next 12 months."
The key proposal to come out of the budget will be plans for a High Bank, with construction expected by the second half of the year.
It will see a massive redevelopment of Quay St from Fitzroy St to William St, including a road and an esplanade to create what Cr Strelow said would be "a fitting frontage" for our heritage buildings.
"We've recognised the cavalry is not coming, if we want major projects that we know are important we've got to do them ourselves," she said.
A second future proposal, known as Low Bank, will include things like a wet play area and seek state and federal government funding.
"This sets the scene for the rejuvenation of our urban core," Cr Strelow said.
Cr Strelow said to fit an extra 10,000 people in the city centre it would be all about apartment living, and encouraging people to live above commercial buildings.
"There's been some real discouragement of that in the past, and we're looking to reverse some of those things," she said.
"There will specific measures in the budget around that."
With the downturn in the mining industry putting pressure on businesses, Cr Strelow said the budget focused on projects which will strengthen the local economy.
She said she believes people will be "pleasantly surprised" with today's draft budget.Council is still working to finalise details on the High Bank proposal, but has drawn inspiration from other cities including Brighton, in the UK.