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Posted on: 19 June, 2019

Infrastructure upgrades the focus of WRC Budget

Building our Region is the primary focus of the 2019-20 Budget as Whitsunday Regional Council continues to upgrade vital infrastructure, create jobs and steer our region’s economy forward.

As part of the Building our Region budget, Council will deliver over 110 projects and infrastructure upgrades worth $159 million dollars.

Mayor Andrew Willcox said ensuring our infrastructure keeps pace with growth is important for our region’s three pillar economy of tourism, mining and agriculture.

“Infrastructure supports economic productivity, especially the liveability and growth of our communities from Airlie Beach to Proserpine to Bowen and outback to Collinsville,” he said.

“New and upgraded infrastructure is vital in maintaining a consistent level of service for our 35,500 residents.

“It also delivers major projects that not only create jobs for locals as a priority but will also help forge a bright future for the Whitsunday Region.

“We already live in the best region in the world so building new infrastructure to keep pace with growth is a high priority.”

Mayor Willcox said that providing residents with upgraded facilities and services will ensure a happy and thriving community.

“Whilst Building Our Region is a positive goal my Council is adamant that we leverage every external funding opportunity to ensure it is not a burden on our residents.

“I have worked hard to build strong relationships with both the Federal and State Governments.

“This is now paying off with nearly 70% of the 2019/20 capital program expected to be funded through collaborative grants and subsidies.

“We are planning now the critical projects that we want to see funded and delivered over the next 10 years.

“This will provide much-needed certainty and drive the groundwork to ensure that new initiatives are ready to roll out when the projects we are currently working on are complete,” he said.

“By reviewing every dollar spent at Council, the entire organisation will continue to find cost efficiencies.

“For the fourth consecutive year there will be 0% increase in the total general residential rates across the region.

“Thanks to prudent financial management, Council has also been able to achieve 0% general rate increase for all categories.

“This means that, despite four years of rising fuel, insurance and power costs, during my term as Mayor we are collecting exactly the same general rates from residents as 2016, no more, no less,” Mayor Willcox said.

“2019/20 is shaping as an exciting year of growth for our region as Council invests in a sustainable and positive future for all our Whitsunday communities.”

Below is a snapshot of some of the major projects that are expected to be completed or underway in the 2019/20 Financial Year:

• $14 million New Bowen Sewage Treatment Plant
• $8 million recycled water pipeline
• $3.9 million Flagstaff Hill project
• $500,000 CCTV at Airlie Beach and Cannonvale Beach boardwalk
• $9 million (over three years) new reservoir and bulk water pipeline for Cannonvale/Airlie Beach areas
• $54.5 million Shute Harbour Restoration
• $10.9 million rebuilding the Proserpine Entertainment Centre
• $10.6 million rebuilding the Proserpine Administration Building
• $25 million for flood damage road reconstruction works in Collinsville

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