No surprises: lower rates, less debt, eight surpluses in a row

With a record roads and transport spend and the rate increase kept close to CPI, the 2019-20 City Budget delivers on priorities outlined by the Gold Coast community.

Mayor Tom Tate said the 1.68 per cent average residential rate increase (principal place of residence excluding State charges not controlled by Council) is the second lowest general rate increase in the last eight budgets, and the lowest in the past four years.

“This is the longest period in our history that rate increases have remained so low, setting a low rates trend as the way ahead for the city,” he said.

“This budget delivers the frontline services ratepayers expect, at a price they can afford.”

The city-wide budget consultation, conducted earlier this year, revealed the top priorities for Gold Coasters were roads, transport and traffic, with safety and the provision of open space also rating highly.

Mayor Tate said he had listened to community feedback during budget consultation and ensured the budget got the balance right by keeping rate rises low and paying down debt, but also delivering the services and infrastructure the community had come to expect.

“We have listened and this budget delivers the highest ever spend on city transport and traffic at over $280 million, including a record $160 million on congestion busting and safety improvement road infrastructure.”

“Moving forward, we are also thinking about the way ahead when it comes to managing congestion across the city and that’s why we have a plan to spend over half a billion dollars ($544 million), rolling out 54 projects over the next four years.”

Other spending priorities for the coming year include investment in safety cameras, parks and open spaces, and park equipment.

Mayor Tate said paying down debt remained an overarching philosophy for the city.

“I am continuing to lead a Council that doesn’t want to leave our kids and grandkids with debt. In 2012, our forecast debt level was spiralling towards a billion dollars, but this year’s budget maintains our responsible economic management and continues paying down debt to $624 million by June 2020.

“I’d like to thank all Councillors, the CEO and the administration for their hard work in helping to deliver this budget, which will continue to put our city way ahead.”

For details on the 54 road projects planned please see: http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/transport-strategy-mid-life-review-summary.pdf

For all Budget 2019-20 information visit cityofgoldcoast.com.au/budgetplanreport

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