Livingstone Shire Council debt part of plan: Ludwig

LIVINGSTONE Mayoral Candidate Heath Henwood says questions remain unanswered by Mayor Bill Ludwig over the shire's debt.

Cr Ludwig dismissed Mr Henwood's claims debt was "spiralling out of control" on Monday.

But Mr Henwood yesterday said the question of how much residential rates would increase over the next three years had not been answered.

He said council's debt was projected to increase beyond $95 million, reducing to $93.6 million by the end of the term.

"The council needs to ensure borrowings are for sustainable projects that create long-term jobs," he said.

"I believe that we can do better in managing the finances of the people of Livingstone."

But Cr Ludwig said council's long-term borrowing strategies were part of broader economic development aimed at job creation and growth.

Cr Ludwig said this population growth would increase the shire's rate base, allowing council to keep rate increases to a reasonable level and give a "substantial" return on council's investment.

He cited the Yeppoon Foreshore and Town Centre Revitalisation projects, which are expected to create 260 jobs during construction and about 680 jobs in Yeppoon afterwards.

The analysis also predicts the project will boost population growth in the area by 6,892 people and up to 12,501 people shire-wide.



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