This week has been notable for the mayor’s admission to the media he had not been able to achieve his major targets during his first year in office except for the improvement in the economic status of the GC’s building industry with some $20 billion worth of new developments approved (actually only a slight increase on the previous year despite the gradual easing of the global financial crisis).
However he continued to claim he had his three major projects well on the way so that some results should be apparent during 2014: the international cruise ship terminals, the Broadwater rehabilitation, and the “new” cultural centre. As well, of course, he is referring to the new casino which will be needed to pay for the shipping terminal.
Just who is kidding who ?
All of these dreams are beyond the pockets of any Council. So the value they may, or may not, bring to the community need to surpass the financial consequences their construction will create.
That’s fine, and no doubt better minds than mine will make this judgements but I still believe council’s first obligation is to the residents who elected them and who continue to pay their exorbitant salaries. A good municipality should be mainly concerned with the standard of roads, parks, gardens, sporting fields, open spaces, and services. In other words, their main priotiry, must be to continue/improve the standards of living enjoyed by their citizens. For the Gold Coast, this includes the cleaning & maintenance of our surf beaches/foreshore, and protection of the sea-wall against further intrusion by the ocean.
Our surf beaches are the foundation of our tourism and therefore the backbone of all GC business and industry. Frankly, attend to the beaches, and the rest will look after itself.
In addition to this, one of the main duties for this Council should be to return the level of rates, including water charges, back to where they were before Government interfered by taking over the water distribution and robbing the GC of $100 million per annum. They now have back most of the water distribution, (and should be seeking the rest from the Stae government), thanks to the last Council’s initiative in taking the opportunity to take over the dreaded Allconnex and return it to council control.
Gold Coast Water, in 2008, before the State forced us to give it to them for peanuts, charged well less than one/third of the present water fees yet still provided between $80 million and $100 million profit annually to the Council’s coffers. This meant we could keep our General Rates that much lower.
Now we are back in charge of the water, and the new GCW should be operating as efficiently as it did when under the management of Shaun Cox, and be providing at least two thirds of these monies each year ($60/70 million), especially as the water prices have doubled in the meantime. Rates overall should now again be reduced by the profits gained from the water distribution just as they were in 2008.
The Mayor’s other promises continue to rely upon someone else finding the money which, I suggest, will not be the State given their recent austerity packages in health & education in particular.
I just hope he doesn’t trade our soul and lifestyle to gain his dream of more casinos and short-term overseas tourists.