Coun­cil re­leases ‘more ef­fi­cient’ bud­get

Western Times - - NEWS -

PAROO Shire Coun­cil handed down its 2018–19 $20.6 mil­lion bud­get on Tues­day, keep­ing rate rises to a min­i­mum for the com­mu­nity’s ben­e­fit.

Mayor Lindsay God­frey said a 1.9 per cent in­crease would be ap­plied from July 1.

“Our fo­cus is to be more ef­fi­cient, even though we run a tight ship al­ready, while also bal­anc­ing the needs of look­ing af­ter our as­sets and in­vest­ing in de­liv­er­ing high-qual­ity ser­vices,” Cr God­frey said.

“We have abol­ished the non-res­i­den­tial rate cat­e­gory that we in­tro­duced last year to en­cour­age in­vest­ment in our lo­cal real es­tate mar­ket, not­ing that this was not well-re­ceived over the past 12 months.

“We have also re­duced min­ing leases and claims rates by 25 per cent, even though this presents fis­cal chal­lenges in bal­anc­ing our books.”

Cr God­frey said the coun­cil’s new Cor­po­rate Plan and or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­ture were the build­ing blocks of a new di­rec­tion for the Paroo Shire.

“We have a re­newed fo­cus on eco­nomic devel­op­ment and tourism be­cause we want peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence the magic of the Out­back and live like lo­cals,” he said.

“Events such as the Cun­na­mulla Fes­ti­val and the Cun­na­mulla 150 cel­e­bra­tions are draw­cards for peo­ple.

“We’re also in­vest­ing heav­ily in our in­fra­struc­ture and will spend $9.26 mil­lion this year on cap­i­tal works and will con­tinue to com­plete con­tracts on be­half of the state Depart­ment of Trans­port and Main Roads as a way of sourc­ing in­come.”

Com­mu­nity groups will also ben­e­fit from the bud­get, with $43,495 al­lo­cated.

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