Healthy future for residents in budget boost

Published on 14 June 2022

Fitness group exercising in pool

The city’s 650,000 residents and 13 million annual visitors have “every reason to get out and enjoy the wonderful outdoors’’ thanks to a $300 million investment in the 2022-23 budget.

“That’s 300 million smiles as we deliver the world’s best community facilities, sporting fields, parks and venues for everyone,’’ said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

“We have 13,000 hectares of open space to manage and we are constructing more world-class venues including the Palm Beach Aquatic Centre ($21 million in 2022-23) and the Albert Waterways Centre at Broadbeach ($14.4 million).

“A healthy and connected community is a more vibrant and inclusive community.’’

The City will also fund HOTA with around $19.5 million.

“Like our libraries, pools and community centres, HOTA is a City asset and it will take time to achieve a commercial return for ratepayers,’’ said Mayor Tate.

“I trust the community sees the broader benefit in HOTA as an arts and cultural precinct. It is our cultural heartland and it attracts tourists – both day visitors and overnight stays. Long term, I am confident the new board will drive greater efficiencies now the challenges of Covid are behind us. This year (2022-23) we will also fund our libraries to the tune of $29.9 million.’’

Key projects in 2022-23 include:

  • Landscaping – maintaining landscaping across city - $21 million;
  • Land – buying more land for sport and recreation - $14.7 million;
  • Repairs – repairing city furniture, skate parks and barbecues - $12.8 million;
  • Tourist parks - $19.2 million towards maintaining the seven parks and three campgrounds;
  • Grass – maintain grass across city - $9 million;
  • Broadwater Parklands – maintain and improve parklands - $3.9 million;
  • Sporting fields – maintain surfaces and turf - $5.9 million;
  • Bushfire – hazard reduction burns and maintain fire breaks - $2.4 million;
  • Facilities – new Changing Places facility at Tallebudgera - $950,000;
  • Toilet – public toilet at Alan Neilsen Park, Carrara - $578,000;
  • Lights – new lights for Runaway Bay Soccer Club - $500,000;
  • Community – renewal works at Varsity Lakes Community Centre - $540,000.

The City will continue to provide more than 300 activities weekly (across 40 weeks) through our Active and Healthy program to support community connection and well-being. The program also includes school holiday programs. The 2022-23 budget is $794,000.

The City is also developing a new sport and physical activity plan to deliver improved physical activity rates across the city. Currently, Gold Coast adults are ranked the 5th most active in Queensland. The plan will drive Gold Coasters to improve this ranking to become Queensland’s most active city by 2032.

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Mayor Tate said residents had urged councillors to address overgrown grass across the city, following the record wet season over 2021-22.

“We have responded in this budget. Typically, we allow our parks and road reserves to be cut 18 times annually. To combat the rapid growth seen from the La Nina conditions in 2021-22, we have budgeted for an additional 10 weekly cuts (when required) during peak growth periods in 2022-23. This has been included in our annual $9 million budget allocation for grass maintenance.’’