Mayor flags budget drivers for 2016-17

15 April 2016

Improved local roads, light rail direct to Gold Coast Airport and opening up the city’s green space for residents and visitors are key priorities on Mayor Tom Tate’s 2016-17 budget agenda.

“In January this year, I held city-wide budget consultations and the public made it clear what their priorities are,’’ he said.

“We received 1800 responses including around 870 via our new City Panel on-line portal.

“The public made it clear their priorities are: traffic light synchronisation; reducing congestion on local roads; light rail direct to the airport; and improved east-west bus time tables.

“I have listened and have already started annual budget discussions with Council’s Chief Executive Office and Chief Operating Officer and will be working closely with all divisional councillors.

“This is a $1.2 billion budget and we need to ensure the spending reflects what people want.

“At the same time, I commit to keeping any rate increase to CPI or below and I will be pushing hard to ensure frontline services remain without any rate increase. To me, that is non-negotiable.’’

Cr Tate said the City’s $220 million financial commitment to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games was secured with Council finding savings within its existing operating budgets (financial years 2010-11 to 2017-18).

“My focus this term will also be on unlocking our green space. Ratepayers have invested millions in acquiring key green space across the city,’’ he said.

“The City Plan guides the planning of our comprehensive green space network of natural features which supports the City’s aim to achieve 51 percent native vegetation cover.

“In achieving these aims I want to invest in making our green space accessible so residents and ratepayers who own it can enjoy it.

“This will mean partnerships, revegetation, clearing weeds, developing walking trails and installing viewing platforms.

“It’s one thing to own large tracts of green space but I want to see it available for everyone.’’

 

Birds eye shot of the gold coast beaches and skyline.