Gold Coast ratepayers will have to pay an additional $200 this year as the cost of living reaches record highs.
Mayor Tom Tate says the increase is below the seasonally adjusted consumer price index rise of 7.1 per cent.
He says the rate increase is about 5 per cent, which amounts to a rise of about $4 per week.
“It’s a complex budget, but in saying that it has been a smooth budget, because we all had the same heart that the cost of living pressure out there in the community is high,” Cr Tate said.
“This year … we just went, ‘How low can we go?’ And it came in at 5.5 per cent.”
He said the budget survey was responded to by more than 6,000 people, which was a record.
Cr Tate says council debt has reduced to $595 million, down from $860m in 2012.
The $2.2-billion budget will see the rates rise by a little more than 2 per cent to 5.5 per cent, bringing average household rates to $4,016.17.
The net total in the last budget was $3,806.79.
Deputy Mayor Donna Gates said council’s priority was to keep rates below inflation.
“Everyone is doing it tough and our main objective has been to keep rates below CPI, and we’ve achieved that,” Cr Gates said.
More than $770m has been allocated for the construction of infrastructure in the city, including $378m for transport and roads.
This includes $35.8 million towards stages three and four of the city’s light rail network.
Construction on stage three is underway and a business case for stage four is ongoing.
“We will invest $190.78m in the road network as well as $35.7m on transport improvements and a further $54m on road sealing and pavement work,” Cr Tate said.
Elsewhere in the budget, $82.7m will be spent on sporting and aquatic centres, $32m on libraries and $12m on lifeguard services.
Article source: www.abc.net.au