LETTER: Where will the $47 million in cuts fall?
COUNCILLOR Loft has called for a "rate pause" but so far (according to this paper) has failed to spell out what that will mean in practice.
With the aid of the 2015/16 council budget let me explain.
It will mean stripping $38.7 million out of the next four budgets.
This is by far and away the most expensive promise in the election.
Stripping that much out of the forward budgets will have an impact.
On the recurrent budget it will mean more than 85 council staff and a proportional number of contractor staff need to be made redundant over the period.
On the bright side a councillor should go and the mayoral role be reduced to 80%.
This will have to mean shorter library hours, slower response to emergencies, cuts to community programs and semi or complete closure of the Brolga Theatre.
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On the capital side, by the end of the period one in six of the capital works contemplated will need to be cancelled.
As 55 per cent of the capital budget is spent on roads they would be an obvious target as would the erosion control at Hervey Bay and much-needed upgrades to shopping precincts, sporting facilities halls and other buildings. What will I save on the Urangan property? $100 in the first year or $2 dollars per week; this will climb to $2.40 per week in 2020.
Councils are part of the social glue of a community (social capital).
Stripping so much money out of the community so quickly will have major impacts; you just cannot hide $38 million plus the $9 million in state support.
I challenge Cr Loft and any other candidate supporting such drastic measures to come clean on where the total $47 million in cuts will fall.