Families wait on Cairns Regional Council budget
KEEPING rates down, boosting tourism opportunities and revitalising the CBD – these are the key issues Holloways Beach man Paul Aubin hopes the Cairns Regional Council will address when its annual Budget is handed down today.
Mr Aubin and his wife Charlie are owners of a unit block, also have a block of land, and run a tourism business.
The father of two said rates rises were particularly frustrating.
"They can’t keep increasing rates every year, it just doesn’t add up," Mr Aubin said. "It also annoys me that you have to pay rates when you are not even using the property."
Mr Aubin hopes there may be some initiatives to help the recovery of tourism in Cairns.
"Tourism is really bad, I think Cairns has lost its shine and it’s a bit of a shame. The airport says more people are landing but you don’t see them on the streets," he said.
"Cairns is a tourism destination so I think a solid percentage of the Budget should be committed to tourists and that the council should work in conjunction with TTNQ."
Mossman teacher Chantal Ives, who is a stay-at-home mum with a nine-month-old boy, said a rates increase would make things tougher for their young family.
"It wouldn’t be good, it would make things harder and I want to be able to stay home with Regan for as long as I can before I need to go back to work," she said.
A Cairns builder, who asked not to be named, said he doesn’t think home owners should have to give any further money to the council.
"I’m from the building game and if you want to buy a house and land package, lots of it is council fees, it doesn’t stop," he said.
"Also, I know that being a place of tourism means we dedicate money for backpackers and creating free entertainment options like the Esplanade and libraries, but it would be good to have some of those things in the suburbs as well as the city because you often can’t get any space at them."
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning seemed relaxed yesterday when contacted on the eve of his first Budget since winning election in April.
"The work is all done and tomorrow is just presenting it," he said of the $300 million package.
Easing the financial pressure on ratepayers has been one of the key tasks for councillors and council officers during the Budget talks.
Cr Manning is expected to deliver the Budget about 9.30am today.
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Family matters: The Aubin family from Cairns comprising Charlie, Paul, Ruby, 6, and Jacques, 1, hope the Cairns Budget will not pack too much of a sting. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS