Townsville Enterprise welcomes Townsville City Council’s fiscally responsible 2018/19 Budget, which was handed down today with a large focus on water security and major projects that will stimulate job creation and liveability across the city.
Council will invest a record capital spend of $432.5M in essential infrastructure projects that will not only create local employment opportunities but secure Townsville's future as an ideal place to live, work, visit and invest in. With the anticipated growth of the area over the next few years, this spending is required to ensure that Townsville is able to support expanding and increasing community and business activity.
Delivering water security for the city continues as the key infrastructure project for Council, allocating $159M in this Budget towards the progression of the Haughton Duplication Pipeline Project to ensure it is built by the end of 2019.
Infrastructure allocations have also been committed towards the upgrade and renewal of core assets with $69.2M towards roads and transport infrastructure, $15.9M on CBD utilities, $7.6M on drains and stormwater management and $4.5M to revitalise the historic Tobruk Pool. Council will also invest more than $9M towards upgrading the area surrounding the new North Queensland Stadium, including landscaping, new road design, footpaths and water and sewerage infrastructure to ensure this precinct will be suitably prepared as the catalyst for continued urban renewal and future growth of the Townsville CBD.
It is pleasing that Council has ensured minimal increases to the community's rates and charges, with a 1.9% increase matching inflation, equating to an additional $1.32/week to households (0.51 rates and 0.81 utilities) - one of the lowest rate rises in Queensland. Free 15 minute parking in the CBD will also be introduced by the end of July 2018 and free CBD parking will return over the Christmas period.
Commitments such as $6M for new parks and upgrades, $1M towards the North Shore Youth Activation Hub, $1.35M to complete the fit-out of the North Queensland Regional Data Centre and $900K towards determining the feasibility of a lagoon on the Strand are also highlighted throughout the Budget.
As a part of Council's 'Community and Culture' Budget allocation, 23 major arts, cultural and community events across the city will receive funding commitments over the next year, such as the Netball Constellation Cup, Supercars, PBR Grand Final and Strand Ephemera.
Townsville Enterprise acknowledges the support of the Townsville City Council in its partnership, which will only enhance the city's economic development opportunities. Whilst there are signs of economic recovery, there is still much to do and we look forward to working with and supporting the projects and initiatives highlighted in this Budget. The next 12 months will again be crucial in furthering the growth of Townsville and boosting major job generating projects, tourism and events initiatives, as well as capitalising on the development of the City Deal with State and Federal Governments. Townsville Enterprise congratulates Council on the economic leadership demonstrated in this Budget, which will act as a direct stimulus for the city's economy at a time it needs it most.
Full details on the Townsville City Council 2018/19 Budget can be found here.