Rates weren’t frozen due to $5 million sport precinct: Loft
MAYOR Chris Loft has declared rates could have been frozen if the $5 million allocated to the Fraser Coast sports precinct was not in the budget.
Speaking to the media after the budget endorsement, Cr Loft was asked about why his election commitment to freeze rates was not fulfilled.
Cr Loft claimed his promise was to keep rates below CPI (currently 1.69%) - but later said they would have been held if the sports precinct was not in the budget.
"I said I can put them on hold and that's a discussion for another time," he told journalists.
"There's one particular expense item in the budget which council is still divided on and if that amount wasn't in the budget then we would have been able to produce an even better budget and a more flourishing economy."
Cr Loft remained hopeful the $10 million allocated to the sports precinct since June 2015 could be spent in other ways.
"It's set aside but the condition is if both the federal and the state governments are not interested in contributing towards it, and that's the understanding that I have, the project will not go ahead," he said.
"That money will be able to be re-allocated in some other ways, it could be reduced rates, it could be footpaths it could be a boost to the economy."