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Councillors continue to advocate for the region…

Sep 4, 2017 | Mayor's Blog

Mayor’s Desk – 24 August 2017

When balancing any budget there are only two options spend less or earn more, and council budgets are no different.

As I’ve stated previously this council has very limited opportunity to increase our own source income. We are very aware of people’s capacity to pay rates (rates only account for 35% of our budget with the remaining coming from fees and charges, and State and Federal money).

So to decrease expenditure, the question we need to answer is where do we take money away from? Our roads network needs much more money spent on it. Our pools lose us over $800,000 per year but provide our children with swimming lessons, a place to cool off in summer and a place to exercise. We’ve put more money this year towards our parks and gardens as they had been on the receiving end of budget cuts for years and the community told us of their displeasure with the outcome. Do we amalgamate our Council administration to one centre therefore minimising all the car travel between towns and the associated expenses? Do we reduce hours of service in our waste, libraries and other areas?

These are just some of the things we can do to save money, but the question for all of us is, what does our community look like if we do them? With our low population and enormously large amalgamated region, we are continually told by the State to raise rates and cut expenses. With each cut there are consequences and with each diminishing service or lowering standard, liveability decreases.

When are our regions going to be recognised as the economic backbone of the country and our people be treated with the same respect as is afforded those who live on the coast and in the city? When is government going to understand that if they made regional areas more attractive by giving them more services and increasing liveability that more people would choose to move away from their already overpopulated cities thus helping them out. I won’t hold my breath instead councillors will forge on advocating for our region and our people.