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Lord Mayor funds city’s economic growth

20 June, 2012

Lord Mayor funds city’s economic growth

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has unveiled a $3.1 billion Budget for 2012/13 that focuses on boosting the city’s economic growth potential, maintaining a clean and green city and creating a more accessible city.

The Lord Mayor’s Budget also includes a conservative average annual increase to residential and commercial property rates of 2.6 per cent plus a 1.9 per cent increase due to the impact of the Federal Labor Government’s carbon tax.

Cr Quirk said the combined average rate increase of 4.5 per cent equates to a rise of $13.63 per quarter or $1.05 per week – without the carbon tax that would have been a $7.87 per quarter increase. The average rate increase is below the average annual increase in valuations across Brisbane of 5.76 per cent.

“I promised during the recent election campaign that I would keep average rates increases to no more than five per cent – if we were not faced with the impact of the carbon tax, the increase would have been just 2.6 per cent,” he said.

“The carbon tax is Federal Labor’s gift to itself that will keep on giving despite the successful efforts of Brisbane ratepayers to reduce their carbon footprint.”

The Budget contains funding for fulfilling recommendations from the Lord Mayor’s 20 year Economic Development Plan that outlines how Brisbane can drive growth and prosperity beyond the current boom driven by the resource sector’s capacity building projects.

The plan includes forecasts that Brisbane will achieve 343,000 new jobs within a decade and double its economy to $217 billion within 20 years due to the growth in the resources sector.

“One of my top priorities this term will be to promote the economic development of our city. I will unashamedly chase every opportunity and support every competitive advantage to ensure that Brisbane captures its share of economic growth,” Cr Quirk said.

“Our city is at the hub of a global resources boom already worth $25 billion each year to our economy and the challenge for us is to maximise the economic return over the long term.

“I am also committed to creating a cleaner and greener Brisbane and this year’s Budget will ensure we deliver by investing in essential services such as grass cutting, street sweeping and washing and mosquito spraying.”

Cr Quirk said the Budget included $24.5 million to make an accessible city including $10.5 to improve accessibility at ferry terminals and a further $7.7 million to upgrade bus stops.

Other new disability actions to be funded include a Braille trail public awareness campaign and wheelchair charging points.
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Budget highlights

• $15.9 million in funding for a suite of economic development initiatives in his 2012-13 Budget to help Brisbane achieve its goal of doubling its economy within 20 years.

• The Budget includes $1.4 billion to tackle traffic congestion and make Brisbane’s roads safer with $465 million allocated to start tunnelling work on Council’s largest road project, Legacy Way, which will link the Western Freeway at Toowong with the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove.

• $108 million for suburban road resurfacing (up from $75 million) which includes $60 million to resurface local roads as part of a $240 million four-year election commitment and $48 million for the resurfacing of flood affected roads.

• An overall $500 million public transport spend that will see Council increase its subsidy to $165 million in 2012/13 and begin delivering Team Quirk election promises such as 360 new rigid-equivalent buses, two new CityCat ferries, Milton’s first CityCat terminal and Brisbane’s first free inner-city ferry loop.

• $1.4 million to continue planning the Suburbs 2 City Buslink to see Brisbane take another step towards ridding its bus network of the Victoria St Bridge bottleneck.

• $20 million over 4 years to rehabilitate Shorncliffe Pier so that it will last another 100 years.

• $47 million as the first instalment to construct two open level crossings at Robinson Road at Geebung and Telegraph Road at Bracken Ridge.

• The Lord Mayor will spend about $210 million keeping Brisbane clean and green. This will see the roll out of a $1 million arsenal of new cleaning equipment including new water tankers, street sweepers and high-pressure water hoses. This is part of a total $44 million spend on cleaning, maintenance and public safety that will also include a boost to graffiti enforcement.

• The Budget contained $137 million for parks around Brisbane. This includes $3.6 million for 45 local park upgrades, $2 million to deliver an election promise for an all-abilities playground in the CBD and $10 million to continue work on two super parks at Tennyson and the old Milton Tennis Centre site.

• The Budget will inject at least $68 million into making Brisbane a safer city for pedestrians and cyclists, including $27 million to begin building more bikeway links connecting Brisbane’s top eight economic hubs. This is the first instalment in a record $120 million, four-year bikeway commitment.

• $3.6 million to review and update City Plan over the next two years to allow Council to plan for the city’s growth responsibly.

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15 March, 2013

City Hall organ hits the right note

City Hall organ hits the right note

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has welcomed back the City Hall organ as part of the building’s $215 million refurbishment, with the restored Father Willis organ currently being tuned.

The milestone is one of the few outstanding projects ah...

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