Rockhampton Mayor expects budget to be fully support

MAYOR Margaret Strelow is expecting unanimous support for the Rockhampton Regional Council's 2014/15 budget.

It will be formally adopted today after councillors had two weeks to consider the draft budget, which will deliver a 3.6% rate rise across the board.

"Councillors have worked with the budget the whole way through," Cr Strelow said yesterday.

"I am not anticipating that there will be any difficulties with it being unanimously supported at the council table tomorrow."

Cr Strelow said the introduction of free green waste disposal, million-dollar upgrades to Kershaw Gardens and Cedric Archer Park and the $2 flat entry fee for the region's swimming pools had been well received by the community.

There was also a significant focus on the region's roads, in both urban and rural areas, in the $235million budget.

A total of $8.64million has been allocated to rural roads, with $6.2million for road maintenance of sealed and unsealed roads and $2.44million for capital works on the rural road network.

Cr Strelow reiterated that this year's budget was "payback" for the pain of the previous budget, but she rejected any suggestion that the council had "gone too hard" last year.

"We said last year that we were cutting hard enough to change direction and that is what we've done. Debt is set to decline from next year," she said.

"I'm also delighted we are paying a lot of attention to promoting Rockhampton and the region."

Cr Strelow said the introduction of infrastructure incentives, an ongoing expense for several years, had ensured a steady stream of development applications and building approvals.

REGIONAL RATE RISES

Rockhampton Regional Council 3.6%

Livingstone Shire Council 4.6% (proposed)

Central Highlands Regional Council 1.8%

Mackay Regional Council 2.9%

BUDGET SNAPSHOT

Operational surplus of $4.6million

$82.6million capital works program

Development incentives for future growth of $1million

Continued investment of $5.1million in the Gracemere Industrial Area

$3million more for road resurfacing

$980,000 for capital works programs to ease flooding and improve drainage in North Rockhampton

Free green waste disposal at landfill sites

Pool entry reduced to $2

Destination playgrounds at Kershaw Gardens and Cedric Archer Park



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