Rates fears on Innisfail master plan
ELISABETH CHAMPION TULLY, Mission Beach and Cardwell are next on the list for a facelift following feedback from the Innisfail Draft Masterplan.
Councillors voted unanimously at an economic activation and tourism committee meeting on Thursday to begin a review of the region’s major centres.
The review will identify redevelopment opportunities and recognise Mission Beach as a priority for further master planning.
Innisfail’s draft master plan was released to the public last month with ambitious plans for redevelopment.
Although he was a sup- porter of the idea, Division 4 Cr Mark Nolan expressed concerns on how the council could afford to implement the plans.
“The feedback on Innisfail revitalisation is very positive, but it’s been mixed with some people asking who’s going to pay for it, how will it affect depreciation and what are we doing about retirement of current assets,” he said.
“It wasn’t that long ago that myself, Cr Kimberley and Cr Raleigh were involved in meetings with Queensland Treasury Corporation and they made two clear distinctions to us — our rate base is too narrow and our asset base is too broad.
“At the moment people are saying it sounds good, it’s gone down well, but is it affordable?
“This is going to put pressure on rates.”
Mayor John Kremastos said the plans were designed to help attract new businesses and investment to the region.
“I think these comments are based on increasing the assets, but the actual ratepayer base remaining the same,” he said.
“That doesn’t go hand-inhand. We’re going to have a strategic plan going forward and we are going to invest and we are going to attract investment to the area.”
The master planning process will evaluate pedestrian and vehicular traffic arrangements and develop strategies to revive tired areas. It will include public consultation.