Infrastructure blamed for Livingstone's higher rate rise

LIVINGSTONE Mayor Bill Ludwig says his council can't promise a low rate rise like Rockhampton, but a 1% difference will pay off in the long run.

Cr Ludwig yesterday earmarked a rate rise of about 4.6%, a 1% point higher than what Rockhampton had proposed in its budget earlier this month.

Rockhampton Regional Council proposed a 3.6% rate rise in its draft budget. After "hitting the ground running" following its formation as a local government entity on January 1, the Livingstone council will look to prioritise several significant Capricorn Coast and Livingstone projects in its upcoming budget.

Among the council's priorities is the Yeppoon Main Beach water feature, which Cr Ludwig said should be completed by spring in 2015.

He also said an Emu Park sports complex, the $30million Panorama Dr project, a Barmaryee sports club, a Capricorn Coast Industry Park, a commercial precinct, and funding towards flood mitigation and repairs, would be included in next month's budget.

"Projects like the Yeppoon water feature will be designed to attract locals and visitors... this will create a strong economy for the Livingstone Shire," Cr Ludwig said.

"We will also look to include in next month's budget, funding towards a skate park at The Caves."

Cr Ludwig said the growing need for infrastructure, to attract visitors to the area, was part of the reason for the rate rise.

"The reason we have to put the rate up higher is because of the requirements we have to put into the infrastructure needed to help with economic growth in our region."

The Livingstone Shire budget will be released on July 22.

Yeppoon's Beth Clarke believed she was working "in the lowest paying job".

A rate rise of 4.6% was rubbing salt into her wounds. With her monthly $350 rate bill coming out of her account, Beth, who works in childcare in Rockhampton, said a 4.6% rate rise would hit her hard.



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