Planning and Securing Major Funding is the key to future Success.
Securing major funding is one of the most competitive fields with every council in Australia competing to achieve for their respective communities. Over the past 20 years Livingstone Shire Council has had an extraordinary success record which has been the envy of many other councils.
When it comes to analysing and understanding Livingstone Shire Council’s outstanding success in securing more than $250m in major grant funding over the past 20 years, undertaking timely and proactive planning has been the critical factor in those successes.
This is why Council has now given the green light for our planners to begin the next stage of planning and consultations to find out the options the community would like Council to consider, when the current Council Chambers on the foreshore are eventually decommissioned sometime in the next 5-10 years.
It is important for the community to understand that any move of Council Chambers would also be totally dependent on future State and/or Federal funding being made available. There may also be an opportunity to secure private sector funding partners as we are now seeing with the proposed $60m Keppel Bay Sailing Club convention centre plans.
Council’s success in securing funding has enabled the delivery of more than $310m in capital works since deamalgamation, with no net increase in debt. In fact, by the end of this financial year Council debt will have decreased from approx. $81.2m, inherited at deamalgamation on the 1st January 2014, down to $76.5m.
If Council can continue to work smarter at securing major funding grants, we will remain on track to keeping future rate rises down to CPI levels, while reducing debt to less than $20m over the next 10 years.
Had our Council simply focused on debt reduction over the past six years there would have been virtually no economic stimulus to create new jobs or sustain existing jobs at a time when we need that stimulus the most.
There would also be no Emu Park Centenary of ANZAC or village centre revitalisation and no Keppel Kraken or Yeppoon Lagoon. Families and sporting groups would also not have Hartley Street or Barmaryee Multisports facilities, new cycle way networks, or shire wide park and playground upgrades to enjoy.
Similarly, Panorama Drive and the Yeppoon multistorey carpark would still be waiting to be constructed and there would be no Gateway Industry Park or our soon to be commissioned Homemaker Centre to create future jobs and career opportunities here in our community.
Responsible planning leads to sound and strategic decision making, which most councils to their credit generally strive to achieve for their communities.
What I also firmly believe is that, on balance, the majority of the community is smart enough to work out that every dollar their Council can secure for community and infrastructure projects from State and Federal governments is money that current and future rates payers will not have to find.