16.3 C
Byron Shire
April 11, 2021

Lismore approves $134m budget

Latest News

A win for the roughy

The battle for the 'roughy had been a tough road for conservationists and hopefully this win will be the last fight.

Other News

Can you help this local family find a home?

A local couple whose much-loved baby boy was taken away by government officers and then returned is asking the community for help in finding space on a property to park their mobile home.

COVID testing encouraged in the NNSWLHD

On Easter Sunday afternoon the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) has thanked the community for coming forward in large numbers for COVID-19 testing, with more than 10,000 tests conducted in the region in the past week.

Lilac house bound by red tape

Mullumbimby resident Nicole Haberecht is facing a $3,000 fine and the prospect of repainting her house after Council made a demand that she change the colour after it was painted a shade of lilac.

New film celebrates getting back outside

'Free From Lockdown: Back Out in Nature' is a new short film in which a group of disabled and non-disabled performers from the Northern Rivers celebrate being in nature after COVID lockdown.

Local collaboration formed to feed people rather than landfill

Feeding people at the same time as reducing food waste is the aim of a new regional food donation campaign initiated by NE Waste.

Empanadas and community spirit in wake of cancelled Bluesfest

With a collective sigh of disbelief and disappointment we processed the news that Bluesfest was cancelled

Darren Coyne

Last-ditch pleas from community groups fell on deaf ears last night as the Lismore City Council approved its $134 million budget for 2014/2015.

The groups included the Lismore Showgrounds Trust, the Lismore sub-branch of the RSL, the Lismore Musical Society and the Lismore Friends of the Koala.

Showgrounds Trust spokesman Andrew Gordon asked the council to reconsider decreasing its annual contribution from $20,000 to $16,000.

Mr Gordon pointed out that the Trust had to maintain the 28-hectare historic site with dwindling financial resources as a result of ever increasing expenses and maintenance charges.

He said the showgrounds hosted more than 200,000 visitors at the grounds each year, pumping around $16 million into the local economy.

Heather Sidney and Val Axtens from the Lismore Musical Festival Society also appealed for an exemption from the 20 per cent reduction in grants to community groups, but to no avail.

Wilson McClelland from the Lismore sub-branch of the RSL spoke about the lack of access to the WW1 memorials, which were not open to the public during winter because the memorial baths pool is closed in winter.

He was told the council was hoping that it would receive a grant from the State Government, but would not be changing its budget.

Former Lismore mayor Ros Irwin spoke for ‘the koalas of Lismore’, expressing concern at the lack of staffing to help implement the council’s Koala Plan of Management.

Under the Lismore City Council budget, the council officer who had been working on the plan will be required to switch focus to the proposed North Lismore plateau development, for which the council plans to borrow around $6 million for wastewater and water infrastructure.

‘The council isn’t broke, it’s about the choices you make,’ said Ms Irwin, dismissing a staff comment that a person to drive the strategy would cost $103,800 a year.

She said a full time council officer for a shorter period of time would cost around $45,000, or a $1 from every Lismore local government resident, but would enable the plan to progress instead of ‘sitting on a shelf’.

After considering the submissions, however, councillors stuck with the staff recommendation to approve the budget, with only Crs Greg Bennett and Gianpiero Battista voting against, with Cr Graham Meinke absent.

Mayor Jenny Dowell, deputy Neil Marks, Crs Simon Clough, Vanessa Ekins, Ray Houston, Glenys Ritchie, Mathew Scheibel and Isaac Smith supported the recommendation to approve the yearly budget with some amendments.

The budget is part of the 10-year Imagine Lismore plan, which brought the community together to chart its priorities and visions for the future.

As part of that process, the council has developed plans for one year, four years, and ten years based on extensive community consultations.

With almost $30 million being channeled into fixing up the road network, the council’s other major expenditures will include $11.156 million for wastewater infrastructure, almost $5 million for water infrastructure, and more than $6 million for infrastructure for the proposed North Lismore plateau housing development.

The council also considered its rates and charges for the coming year.

As part of the approved budget, fees and charges will generally increase by the CPI and the full increase of 2.3 per cent allowed under the rate pegging regime has been applied.

That means the average urban residential rate will increase by $25.42 to $1130.85.

The residential water bill will increase to $712, an increase of $64 and the residential wastewater charge will increase to $772, which is an increase of $34.

The integrated waste service charge will increase to $279.10 – an increase of $8.10 or 2.99 per cent.

According to the council, the typical urban residential bill for all services for 2014/15 will be $2966.43.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Maybe Canberra needs a bit of distraction biff

Mick breathed in but his Cronulla Sharks football jersey struggled to contain his well-insulated six-pack and he held up his hand as he approached Bazza in the front bar of the Top Pub.

Council crews working hard to repair potholes

Tweed Shire Council road maintenance crews are out across the Tweed's road network repairing potholes and other damage caused by the recent prolonged rainfall and previous flood events.

Poor Pauline

Bob Vinnicombe, Sefton A lot of hypocrisy from Labor and The Greens about respect for women. Look at the treatment they dished out to Pauline...

New film celebrates getting back outside

'Free From Lockdown: Back Out in Nature' is a new short film in which a group of disabled and non-disabled performers from the Northern Rivers celebrate being in nature after COVID lockdown.