Mayor Margaret Strelow budget.
Mayor Margaret Strelow budget. Allan Reinikka ROK260618abudget2

Spending dispute over $31.5m art gallery

Mayor Margaret Strelow responds to resident Norm Timms following his questions regarding infrastructure spending and his suggestions regarding the proposed $31.5m art gallery.

JUST read Rockhampton Regional Council Budget and I noticed that they intend to spend $14.4 million on water and sewerage infrastructure and & $31.5 million on an art gallery.

Is the expenditure of $14.4million to be spent throughout the entire RRC's boundaries encompassing Gracemere/Mt Morgan as well or is it just for the Rocky council's immediate enclave, which is the usual past practice?

I'm sure that water and sewerage infrastructure in Gracemere and Mt Morgan could do with upgrading.

It might be more beneficial to put that and $31.5million into all of the shires under the RRC banner and, if they want an art gallery, spend $14.4million on that instead.

A $6m disaster management centre was built in the Livingstone Shire which in times of natural disasters will give more benefit to a majority of residents than a $31.5million art gallery will give to a minority.

NWH Timms


Council response by Mayor Margaret Strelow:

Thank you for your interest in our council's budget.

Yes the $14.4m on water and sewerage and $41.4m on roads is spread throughout the entire regional council area, just like the many other community services and improvements we deliver.

For example, you may recall we recently opened a new state-of-the-art library in Gracemere which has been warmly welcomed by the community.

And Mount Morgan people are also pleased as punch with their new CBD redevelopment.

More detail will be given about individual projects when councillors announce details for their divisions after formal adoption of the budget.

The art gallery will hold our nationally significant collection, which is a legacy of the great Rex Pilbeam, and is planned to be funded by three levels of government (as previously advised).

So the $31.5million dollars is not all ratepayers' money.

Although we acknowledge that there is clearly benefit to Livingstone Shire residents because of our new art gallery, our primary concern was for our own regional community and for tourism.

Mayor Margaret Strelow

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