Ed­i­tor’s com­ment:

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK - Greg Mclean Manag­ing ed­i­tor

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.

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