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Byron Shire
July 15, 2024

What Lismore Council is doing with $301 million

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Last night Lismore City Council passed a $301 million budget with Mayor Steve Krieg saying the budget achieved an economically and socially responsible plan to strengthen the city’s continued prosperity. 

‘This budget represents our plan for continuing to deliver on the sustainable rebuild of Lismore. It sets a strong plan to ensure we take strides toward growing as a prosperous, connected and thriving regional hub of the Northern Rivers.   

‘A year ago, we were still planning through uncertainty. Today, we stand on the back of a strong year of public and private investment and are reflecting on a year of record capital works delivery,’ he said.

Government disaster relief

Much of the money being used to rebuild was given to Council by the government for that purpose as disaster relief – it’s money being spent where it should be.

Council relies on grants for most of its operations and this is now even more so as the recovery and rebuild which will be ongoing for next five or six years – this is mainly roads and bridges some $1.6Billion in grants to be spent before mid 2029.

Lismore City Council’s media release says the 2024-2025 budget focuses on the basics while also delivering on the services and amenity that makes Lismore great.  

Water, waste, sewer, roads and bridges 

A total of $209.9 million has been allocated to supporting basic services like water, waste, sewer, roads and bridges.  

‘A majority of our budget is invested in the essential services our community cares about the most,’ said Mayor Krieg.

‘We have heard our community and are investing more than $18 million into the maintenance of city assets, including a 30.7 per cent increase in our drain and stormwater management investment. 

‘We are also investing in a road network which in total is greater in length than the distance from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney, more than 750km of sewer and water pipes across the local government area and maintaining 277 parks as well as open space the equivalent of 711 football fields. 

Delivering the basics

‘We know people expect us to deliver on the basics, but we also have to ensure we don’t lose sight of the services and amenities that make Lismore a great place to live, to connect and to create.  

‘From pools to libraries, parks, sporting clubs, walking trails, galleries, dog parks and events, we are striking a balance investing $19.8 million into the important facilities and services that build a liveable community.’ 

Almost $7 million is will go to community services and assets that support a safer city, while $2.5 million in funding has also been set aside to support Council’s strategic focus on affordable housing. 

Discounts and concessions

Council’s 2024-2025 budget also includes $1.43 million in discounts and concessions to help ease the financial burdens for those who need it the most. 

During the Extraordinary Meeting, Councillors also voted to include $25,000 in this year’s budget for the installation and maintenance of sharps disposal bins, $20,000 in cash and $20,000 in-kind for the Lismore Lantern Parade, $1,100 for Magpie Centre administration, as well as $30,000 for the Eltham Public School safety project to come out of the existing Roads budget.

Councillors also voted to amend the Delivery Program to include seeking funding for a footpath/cycleway from Dunoon and Modanville.

Disappointing

Cr Adam Guise said he felt it was disappointing that the Krieg team voted for a 50 per cent increase in waste collection fees without any genuine consultation with the community.
‘This will see some 10,000 urban households lumped with a $200 increase on their rates bill for waste collection,’ said Cr Guise.
‘The community has been kept in the dark about the secret waste review, which will see council’s waste collection service ‘outsourced’ to a private for-profit operator.
‘While the airport continues to lose over $700,0000 every year under their management, it seems the Krieg team has different priorities in how we balance our budget.’

 

The budget laid out

  • $301m – Total Budget
  • $0 – Increase in Stormwater Charges
  • $134.5m – Capital Investment. 
  • 30.7% – Increase in drain and stormwater investment. 
  • $0 – Borrowings. 
  • $74.2m – Dedicated roads and bridges investment. 
  • $0 – Increase in sewer charges
  • 4.7% – Rate increase. Maintaining at rate peg set by the State Government with no increase
  • $2.5m – Investing in affordable housing
  • $107.3m – Total investment in natural disaster restoration works
  • $1.3m – To complete the Lismore Urban Sports Precinct
  • $209.9m – Investing in basics. Investment in providing the basic services our community expects like water, waste, sewer, roads, bridges. (Including all funded capital works.)
  • $19.81m – Investing in liveability. Investing in sports facilities maintenance, our galleries and libraries, events, pools, dog parks, community assets and playgrounds.
  • $4.8 million direct investment in community support. Investing in supporting community, such as concessions, free events, and affordable housing, as well as significant indirect investment in the waiver of leasing fees and free grounds maintenance for community sporting clubs.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Nicely ignored anything regarding natural environmental assets, biodiversity or ecological integrity of an valued as an biodiversity hotspot.

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