Editorial

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Both the Mount Isa City Council and Cloncurry Shire Council have handed down the first budget of the new terms of their councils to mixed reaction.
Nanjing Night Net

I was at the meeting where the Mount Isa City Council handed down their $85m budget which new mayor Joyce McCulloch described as modest.

That’s as may be, but I was immediately struck by the 9 per cent increase in general ratesand knew that would not go down well with the public in these struggling times.

Sure enough when we broke the news about the budget, our readers were unhappy and there was a firestorm of criticism aimed at the council.

No one likes paying anything more for services, especially when the increase is greater than CPI, so I was not surprised by the negative reaction.

Yet to some degree I sympathise with incoming councillors who were faced with the difficult task of setting a responsible budget with many ageing assets that are requiring a lot of maintenance.

Already they’ve taken the tough decision to end support of the Lions Youth Camp, which while it was a worthwhile endeavour was an endless money pit.More hard decisions lie ahead as they prioritise the spending of scarce dollars.

Were it me in council, I would have most likely have voted in favour of this budget.

Now at the start of the term is the right time to expendpolitical capital making the hard decisions though I would have spent more time explaining the reasons why it was necessary given thelikely backlash.

Over in Cloncurry the budget was not quite as harsh thanks to the effect of rate capping but even here Mayor Greg Campbell warned that capping was unsustainable in the long term.

These are tough times in the wider Australian economy, and despite their rate base councils are not immune from it.

The endless wells of cash from state and federal governments are drying up and councils need to become more self sustaining.

The days of being responsible merely for “roads, rates and rubbish” are long behind us and councils need to be innovative in raising money wherever they can –but not at ratepayers’ expense. DB

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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