Mayor Paul Pisasale announces the new-financial-year council budget.
Mayor Paul Pisasale announces the new-financial-year council budget. David Nielsen

Rates set to rise by 4.9%

IPSWICH rates bills will increase by a net average of 4.9% this year, with a slice of the rise to help fund flood recovery works.

The figure, which was announced at the handing down of the Ipswich City Council 2011-2012 budget, includes a 1.88% rise for flood works and a state government fire levy.

It is a record $570 million budget for the council, up $141 million from last year.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said many hours had been put into the budget to try to keep costs down for residents.

He said the rise was a fair deal for residents with the right balance between recovery and growth.

“In framing this budget we wanted to take in a couple of considerations,” he said.

“We wanted to take in consideration making sure we kept the city on a path of growth.

“The other factor that came in was the path to recovery.”

He said the rising cost of living for Ipswich residents had weighed heavily on those setting the budget.

“The things that are out of our control I can't do anything about,” he said.

“All I can do is make sure that the things that we're doing as a city are in the best interests of the city, best interests of the ratepayer, the people that live here and the business that invests here.”

In terms of capital spending, $100.4million will go towards the planning, construction and refurbishment of council roads and drainage.

This includes major road improvements such as the Kerner's Rd deviation at Yamanto and the extension to Collingwood Dr at Collingwood Park.

Funding of $750,000 is included in Ipswich City Council's 2011-2012 budget to construct Stage 2 of the Brassall Bikeway, which will link Sydney St to the existing bikeway at Workshops St.

The city's 343 parks and sports grounds will receive a $10million boost in funding.

Another $3.65million is budgeted for Stage 1 of the Tivoli Sportsground complex. A total of $12.8 million has been allocated for parks and recreation facilities, with $3.6 million towards the total cost of $7 million for the construction of Stage 2 of River Heart Parklands.

The riverbank, between David Trumpy Bridge and Bob Gamble Park, will be enhanced with an “elaborate” water park, boardwalks, landscaping and recreational facilities.

A full budget breakdown can be found at www.ipswich.qld.gov.au



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