Infrastructure projects are at the forefront of the Mayor’s mind, after Council received its strongest financial rating in over a decade from the Queensland Treasury.
Gold Coast’s debt has declined by almost 200 million dollars, changing the outlook from Neutral to Positive.
Mayor Tom Tate says the city is in a much better position.
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“I recall in 2012 we were heading down a negative outlook with a debt of $806 million heading towards the billion dollar mark and with high rate increases, Mayor Tate said.
“In contrast, over the last seven years we have delivered the Commonwealth Games, we have paid down the debt from 806 million to 608 million.”
Mayor Tate has promised the Gold Coast they can look forward to more infrastructure in the coming years, with money put aside in this year’s budget for a range of developments.
“There’s money in reserve for future infrastructure – Home Of The Arts (HOTA) being built, the Green Bridge, Light Rail Stage 3A, and the ocean outfall of the sewage treatment and recycled water,” said Mayor Tate.
It’s believed the 2019 year will see a greater focus on major road upgrades, as well as community projects, technological upgrades and big event bidding.
“I’ll look at other halls that need to be refurbished, the one near Albert Waterways, we’re going to upgrade all that, you’ll see other community halls popping up.
“And we’ll spend on technology for our libraries.
“And bidding on events such as Eurovision and the like, they’re a good investment project.
“So we’ll be going through that way but we still want to live within our means,” Mayor Tate said.
Major projects like the next stage of the light rail will be able to go ahead more easily as well, because we have the ability to borrow if necessary.
“We’ll save money for it, but at the same time we have the capacity to borrow and go ahead with infrastructure,” Mayor Tate said.
He’s also credited the Council’s work of levering, and ‘removing a lot of red tape’.
“We combined departments and cancelled some departments so that the overheads themselves are reduced.
“It’s about delivering the service, but making sure that you cut the fat off,” he said.