An­other big works pro­gram

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS DOUGLAS SHIRE BUDGET 2017 -

DOU­GLAS Shire Coun­cil will de­liver an­other record cap­i­tal works pro­gram val­ued at al­most $20 mil­lion in 2017/18 and re­mains on track to achieve a bud­get sur­plus within two years.

Mayor Ju­lia Leu handed down the 2017/18 Bud­get which marks Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil’s third con­sec­u­tive record in­vest­ment in cap­i­tal works while main­tain­ing a tight rein on costs.

Ma­jor cap­i­tal works in­vest­ments over the next 12 months in­cludes more than $10.6 mil­lion for water treat­ment in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing the con­struc­tion of the new Port Dou­glas reser­voir ($8.4 mil­lion), al­most $3.2 mil­lion for civil works (in­clud­ing $1.2 mil­lion for road re­seal pro­gram) and around $2 mil­lion for sew­er­age up­grades.

Cap­i­tal works projects sched­uled for the new fi­nan­cial year in­clude the com­ple­tion of the Flagstaff Hill Walk­ing Trail ($260,000), an up­grade of the Di­wan Sound Shell and cricket club shed ($180,000) and a re­newal of Ge­orge Davis Park in Moss­man ($50,000).

Mas­ter Plans for the Moss­man Pool Precinct, the pro­posed Fish­er­men’s Precinct on the Port Dou­glas Water­front as well as Front St and Macrossan St Streetscapes will help rein­vig­o­rate our ma­jor pub­lic spa­ces, Mayor Ju­lia Leu said.

Sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments in water and sew­er­age in­fra­struc­ture in par­tic­u­lar were re­quired to im­prove the fi­nan­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity of our com­mu­ni­ties.

“Due to un­der­in­vest­ment in our water and sew­er­age in­fra- struc­ture prior to the es­tab­lish­ment of the new Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil in 2014 this Coun­cil has had to bite the bul­let and sig­nif­i­cantly in­vest in th­ese as­sets,” Mayor Leu said.

Mayor Leu said the 3.9 per cent av­er­age in­crease for gen­eral rates and sew­er­age util­ity charges en­abled Coun­cil to in­vest in essen­tial in­fra­struc­ture while re­main­ing on track to gen­er­ate a bud­get sur­plus in the 2019/20 fi­nan­cial year.

“The av­er­age Res­i­den­tial 1 Cat­e­gory weekly rates in­crease has been re­stricted to an ad­di­tional $2.03 per week which pro­vides Coun­cil with the rev­enue re­quired to fund our sig­nif­i­cant cap­i­tal works in­vest­ments and main­tain and im­prove ser­vices for our com­mu­ni­ties,” Mayor Leu said.

“Fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity is this Coun­cil’s top pri­or­ity so fu­ture gen­er­a­tions can en­joy the ben­e­fits of a strong and ca­pa­ble Dou­glas Shire and I’m very proud to say we are well on the way to a bud­get sur­plus in the next two years.”

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