This web page provides regular updates on what we are doing for this great city of ours.
Keeping rates low
Much like the household budget, we have looked for areas to save money and then set about making those savings. The result is our finances are in a much stronger position, our debt is down and for the first time in years, our credit rating outlook has improved.
As Mayor, I have led what I term a value-for-money program right across Council. For me, the balance has been about finding savings and reducing debt. This year’s budget delivered an average residential rate rise of around one per cent including bulk water costs and with no increases to levies. At the same time this Council is on track to reduce City debt by $56 million dollars over this four year term.
Importantly, ratepayers like you have played a critical role in shaping our annual budgets. Through my annual Mayoral Listening Posts which have been underway throughout this term, I get to hear first-hand from ratepayers where they want to see their money spent.
In the last financial year, around 4500 locals had their say and this resulted in a lower average rates increase for home owners than the former Council was ever able to achieve. In fact, in 2015-16, rates increase was the lowest for 20 years!
At the same time, we have fully funded plans to improve roads; reduce congestion; boost public transport; support the light rail extension; create more local jobs; increase safety in our suburbs; and fix local priorities.
This business-like approach will see our share of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™ (GC2018) funding secured without an additional ‘games levy’ on residents and businesses.
That means we get to host GC2018 with no added debt, no new levy, and without raising rates.
In my mind, GC2018 is a legacy opportunity for our city. It will greatly assist in attracting more volunteers; improve the social connection of residents; increase our national and international reputation as an events city; and see new sporting and community infrastructure built utilising state and federal government funds.
Through your support and feedback, we are getting the job done, but there is so much more to achieve.