Mayor Bill Ludwig at the official start of workto upgrade  the Scenic Highway near Statue Bay
Mayor Bill Ludwig at the official start of workto upgrade the Scenic Highway near Statue Bay Chris Ison ROK111116cscenic6

SHOALWATER IMPACT: Ludwig responds to re-amalgamation idea

LIVINGSTONE Mayor Bill Ludwig says the council isn't jumping up and down just yet, but the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area proposed expansion could have a significant economic impact.

"We are going to do a detailed assessment so that we have a solid claim,” Cr Ludwig told The Morning Bulletin yesterday.

"The change wouldn't cause us into a re-amalgamation, but it would put unwelcome pressure on us, unless there was full compensation.”

Cr Ludwig's comment about re-amalgamation comes after Property Rights Australia spokeswoman Joanne Ray raised the prospect at the public meeting in Marlborough on Monday.

She raised it after saying she thought previous estimates about the loss of rates were conservative and she felt it would be closer to $2 million a year.

"Is compensation being paid to Livingstone?” Ms Ray asked at the meeting.

"As without, it will probably have to re-amalgamate with Rockhampton.”

Cr Ludwig said the council's detailed assessment should be completed in the coming months and would not only look at the amount of rates that could be lost due to the expansion, but also the council's long-term economic sustainability.

He said the assessment would also look at the impact on council's infrastructure.

Livingstone Shire Council has had a tough couple of years since the de-amalgamation from Rockhampton Regional Council, paying off the de-amalgamation debt of about $81 million while dealing with the damage to infrastructure from Cyclone Marcia and still moving forward with major projects in the shire such as the Yeppoon Foreshore.

However, Cr Ludwig said moving into the fourth year since de-amalgamation, the council was on top of that debt and the council team had done a 'sterling job' managing the council's debt and projects without a huge rate rise.

Kerri-Anne Mesner



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