Livingstone Mayor Andy Ireland.
Livingstone Mayor Andy Ireland.

Livingstone mayor reacts to federal budget

Crucial pool upgrade funding and a further commitment to the Building Better Regions program in the federal budget have been welcomed by Livingstone Shire Mayor Andy Ireland.

While the council had no formal “wishlist” of projects they wanted to see, Cr Ireland was happy to see certain projects receive funding, as well as the commitment to certain social programs.

“We’re happy with the results from the budget, particularly with the fact that the Building Better Regions funding is being continued, and we’re very appreciative for the $13 million for the Cooee Bay pool complex,” Cr Ireland said.

Council engineers had assessed the Yeppoon Aquatic Centre at Cooee Bay and determined that the issues were much worse than originally thought.

“We had a report from our engineers late last year – and it’s deteriorating quite rapidly where it’s not viable to try and repair it,” Cr Ireland said.

The upgrade will include a new 50m ten-lane competition pool, new amenities and administration area, disability access facilities, new entry and parking, a health and wellness centre, plus a community hall.

The council is working on a masterplan for the redeveloped pool, which will be handed to the community for consultation when done.

It’s understood one potential option is a second 25m pool to go alongside the 50m one.

This funding has saved the council from having to borrow $6-8 million, especially while it is trying to pay down debt.

Cr Ireland also welcomed the additional $250 million funding for the Building Better Regions program, which the council had received a number of grants from in the past.

He also welcomed the tax write-off for assets purchased by businesses, and the tax relief for low and middle-income earners given the projected wage stagnation.

“Also, I’m happy to see the spending on social infrastructure as well, so what’s going on with aged care, what’s going on with mental health, what’s going on with single mothers and their ability to obtain loans and a loan deposit, and also for childcare,” he said.

“All of those things, although they’re at a federal level, benefit us locally because it provides a stimulus to the economy.”

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