LSC's extraordinary success the envy of other councils
SECURING major funding is one of the most competitive fields, with every council in Australia competing to achieve for their respective communities. Over the past 20 years Livingstone Shire Council has had an extraordinary success record which has been the envy of many other councils.
When it comes to analysing and understanding Livingstone Shire Council's outstanding success in securing more than $250million in major grant funding over the past 20 years, undertaking timely and proactive planning has been the critical factor in those successes.
This is why council has now given the green light for our planners to begin the next stage of planning and consultations to find out the options the community would like council to consider, when the current council chambers on the foreshore are eventually decommissioned sometime in the next five to 10 years.
Any move of the council chambers would also be totally dependent on future State and/or Federal funding being made available.
There may also be an opportunity to secure private sector funding partners as we are now seeing with the proposed $60million Keppel Bay Sailing Club convention centre plans.
The council's success in securing funding has enabled the delivery of more than $310million in capital works since deamalgamation, with no net increase in debt. In fact, by the end of this financial year council debt will have decreased from about $81.2million, inherited at deamalgamation on January1, 2014, to $76.5million.
If council can continue to work smarter at securing major funding grants, we will remain on track to keeping future rate rises down to CPI levels, while reducing debt to less than $20million over the next 10 years.
Had our council simply focused on debt reduction over the past six years, there would have been no economic stimulus to create new jobs or sustain existing jobs at a time when we need that stimulus the most. There would also be no Emu Park Centenary of Anzac or village centre revitalisation and no Keppel Kraken or Yeppoon Lagoon.
Families and sporting groups would also not have Hartley St or Barmaryee Multisports facilities, new cycleway networks, or shire-wide park and playground upgrades to enjoy. Similarly, Panorama Dr and the Yeppoon multistorey carpark would still be waiting to be constructed and there would be no Gateway Industry Park or our soon-to-be commissioned Homemaker Centre to create future jobs and career opportunities in our community.
Responsible planning leads to sound and strategic decision-making, which most councils generally strive to achieve for their communities.
What I also firmly believe is that, on balance, the majority of the community is smart enough to work out that every dollar their council can secure for community and infrastructure projects from State and Federal governments is money that current and future ratepayers will not have to find.