Fourth budget presented to city leaders

19 June 2015

Mayor Tom Tate has revealed details of Council’s fourth and final City Budget at a community luncheon presented by the Institute of Business Leaders (IBL) today.

He said more than 4500 submissions from families, pensioners, small businesses and community groups helped shape this year’s budget, with key themes including better transport, more local jobs, lower rates and better value for money.

Cr Tate unveiled how City finances have recovered since 2012, and what new pro-business policies will help create thousands more jobs.

“The former Council left a mess, debt approaching $1 billion – and we were saddled with a negative credit rating outlook,” he said.

“We have not borrowed externally, making huge progress paying down debt, so for the first time in many years our credit rating outlook has improved.

“We have delivered the lowest rates increase ever at 1.4 per cent for the average owner-occupier, while freezing water retail charges in spite of the Allconnex debacle.

“Parking costs have been reduced throughout the CBD and we have resolved to abolish the surcharge for those paying for parking using their smartphones.”

Cr Tate invited guests to register their interest in the successful ‘Buy Local’ policy, which gives Gold Coast businesses the first option on $250 million dollars of Council contracts each year.

“Last year alone, our ‘Buy Local’ policy injected more than $88 million, or 66 per cent of Council contracts, into the local economy and we want to lift that figure to 75 per cent,” he said.

“It gives businesses a hand up, not a hand out: keeping jobs and profits on the Gold Coast and the local economy prosperous and competitive.”

More information about the City Budget 2015-16 is available at the following website:

www.cityofgoldcoast.com.au/budget