LISTEN: Livingstone rates up 4.5% in draft budget
A RATE increase of 4.5% should be a Livingstone Shire Council budget surprise the region is used to.
This financial year's 4.5% increase in general rates and 4.9% increase in utility charges is in line with council's five year plan - and it will not be the last price hike for some time.
Mayor Bill Ludwig said the rate rise, delivered in the council draft budget on Friday, would be followed by another two rises in future budgets before council could start reducing the rises and " longer term look to reduce reliance on debt".
"It's a long term plan but we've got massive infrastructure that needs to be built if we're going to grow the capacity of the Capricorn Coast and certainly if we're going to retain the population and also meet the growth projections that the State Government are projecting at coming to the Capricorn Coast," Mr Ludwig said.
"You can't build major infrastructure and have those facilities that the community need and want without appropriate revenue streams and those rate rises are part of that revenue stream."
Mr Ludwig said council was "mindful of keeping rate rises to as low as possible" but also had to be "focused on building the infrastructure".
The general rate rises are a harsh blow compared to last financial year when general rates rose by 3.9% compared to this year's 4.5% but utility rates rose by 5.3% compared to this year's 4.9%.