RATEPAYERS can expect a pretty stingy budget when it is released by the Cairns Regional Council next Monday.
Mayor Bob Manning has made his intentions clear since taking the reins in April he intended to tighten the purse strings to ensure ratepayers are not burdened with significant spending by council.
With that in mind, the average rise for ratepayers will probably be in line with inflation or possibly a little higher, but anything above 4 per cent is unlikely.
While this is good news for the majority of ratepayers, it also means there is unlikely to be any significant outlays on major projects in the Douglas region.
There will be money for the Port Douglas Waterfront and the Daintree Gateway, but anything over $1 million is probably a pipedream in this budget.
Likewise, returning the Douglas region to chlorine-free water status will have to wait and council is likely to put off outlaying a significant portion of the $40 million needed to upgrade the Mossman sewerage treatment plant before 2017 until at least the de-amalgamation debate is settled.
It will be interesting to analyse the detail to see exactly where Mayor Manning sees his priorities over the next 12 months. While he has made clear council needs to be fiscally responsible, it is also the biggest stimulator of the local economy.
I guess we’ll find out on Monday.