Brisbane rates to go up 6pc in some areas, congestion to continue at Kingsford Smith Drive
Brisbane residents will have to put up with the roadworks on Kingsford Smith Drive for another year and a half, and some suburbs will be slugged with a 6 per cent rate rise, the council budget reveals.
The timeline was included as part of Brisbane City Council’s 2018-19 budget of $3.1 billion with another $200 million left to spend on the project.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says the project is on deadline and will remain within budget. (www.ksdupgrad.com.au)
One third of the money will be spent on infrastructure works, including $708 million to complete the Brisbane Metro by 2022, for use in 2023.
Upgrades to Kingsford Smith Drive have caused rolling lane closures, a slowed speed limit and significant congestion.
However, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the Kingsford Smith Drive works were on deadline.
“We’re on track to have Kingsford Smith Drive complete by the end of next year,” Cr Quirk said.
“We’ve said $650 million and we’re on track to complete it in that allocation.”
An Opposition spokesman likened the project to “a rolled-gold waste of money”.
“Labor would have scaled back the project, rather than blow $650 million to save one minute in travel time,” he said.
“We would have spent the $500 million we saved to battle congestion right across Brisbane.”
Some suburbs slugged with 6pc rate rise
Ratepayers can expect an average rate rise of 2.5 per cent or 77 cents per week.
Residents in the southside will be hit the hardest by rate rises, with those in Sunnybank expecting an increase of about 6 per cent or $100 per year.
Along a similar vein to yesterday’s State Budget, Councillor Quirk said he did not want the city to be left behind.
Ratepayers can expect an average rate rise of 2.5 per cent or 77 cents per week. (ABC News: Timothy Swanston)
“We have had significant declines in revenue,” Cr Quirk said.
“We can cut back on the infrastructure that we’re building in this city or we simply have to pass those certain costs on.
“Ratepayers continue to say to me, as the city grows they do not want us to fall behind with the infrastructure build.
“If we’re going to keep our city modern, if we’re going to keep our city moving then we have to invest in its future.
“That’s what this budget is about.”
$43 billion to be spent on bikeways
The big ticket item is funding for the Brisbane Metro, but the State Government still owns two key blocks of land at Woolloongabba and Eight Mile Plains.
“If not gifted by State Government to Brisbane City Council, this Council is absolutely prepared to enter into commercial arrangements with the State Government,” Cr Quirk said.
The bikeway budget is the largest single-year allocation to bike paths in council’s history. (ABC News: Giulio Saggin. file photo)
The budget also announced millions of dollars for new parks, recreation centres and community hubs.
A sum of $43.7 million will be spent on bikeway investment, the largest single-year allocation to bikeways in council’s history.
That spending includes $8.5 million for the Indooroopilly Bikeway, $4 million for the Botanic Gardens Riverwalk, $2.9 million for Stage 1 of the Kangaroo Point Bikeway and $3.2 million for the new Gabba Bikeway.
Bicycle Queensland CEO Anne Savage said the organisation welcomed the funding.
“We will work with council and the community to ensure this funding goes towards priority projects across Brisbane, including the North Brisbane Bikeway,” Ms Savage said.