There has been no time spent celebrating an election victory, with Mayor Tom Tate straight to work on a coronavirus relief package for the Gold Coast.
The Mayor met with Gold Coast Council CEO Dale Dickson this morning to start working through relief measures and a draft budget.
“The relief measures once we add them all up will be a significant figure – we are going to have to find around $70 million,” he said.
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“A rate freeze and levy charging freezes are very doable, so that will be one of the things that I will be putting to our new council.”
He said council will also look at fast-tracking some infrastructure projects and delaying non-essential ones in a bid to boost the struggling Gold Coast economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Tate has highlighted more green bridges and accelerating work on the HOTA cultural precinct as possible projects that could be fast tracked.
“Post this pandemic, people will want to go back to culture, it will give them the sense of normality” Mayor Tate said.
The Mayor also wants to get moving straight away on extending the light rail even further as soon as construction on the line to Burleigh is complete.
He said he will be talking to the State Government about fast-tracking a business case for the next link and will pay half the cost.
Mayor Tate says they will not be afraid to borrow money to get those projects up and running.
“I think the past eight years of budget management, financial management gives us the ability to do that.
“We’ve paid down about $250 million in debt and in the next 18 months if we need to borrow a little bit to stimulate these projects then we should do so.”
Mr Tate also announced today that the city’s skate parks are now closed, and said lifeguard flags will be taken down to stop people congregating together.
“If you don’t need to go to the beach, stay at home,” he said.
“The surf lifesavers have taken the flags down… and our lifeguards are doing the same. They will still be on patrol in [case of an] emergency.”