The 2019/20 Budget
We live in interesting times so let me start by saying the 2019/20 budget is not far off and the decisions to be made are not easy if one is to be fair and just?
Can our local economy sustain the ever increasing rates?
Yes I am sure there will have to be some increases but basically we have a stagnant population and a very slow economy where fewer will have to pay more – now and in the future.
Basically there are too many wants and not enough money.
What services do you want to cut?
I get asked, “What services do you want to cut?”
I don’t mean or want to cut any services – as services are jobs and jobs mean people.
But let’s put a hold on major money projects or at the very least bring these projects down to an affordable level, and do one per year, because how many wow projects can a shire of our size sustain?
Sugar pricing does not look encouraging
The forecast for sugar pricing does not look encouraging for the next couple of years.
Wage growth is very minimal so what to do, when wages are low so is the spending and this is the flow on that affects us all.
I don’t have the answer – except trying to live within the budget and tighten the belt.
Attracting more tourists
We are trying to attract more tourists so clean footpaths would be a big help.
More tourists is a big call with thirty one (at present) vacant shops in our CBD and I would doubt that they will ever open again.
I’m not being negative here, but always a realist, as it is no good sticking your head in the sand and hoping it will go back to the good old times, it will just not happen unless someone puts the money on the table to make a change.
What is a vibrant C.B.D?
So how does one measure a vibrant C.B.D?
I would think it means all retail shops, or at the very least, a large number are open to do business.
Small backyard businesses add nothing to a CBD but are still needed for the overall economy and the well-being of the whole district.
One thought comes to mind – we could transform empty shops into affordable town houses to help bring people back into town and end up with a more residential main street and less empty shops.
This could work for a better look.
I also like the idea of a micro-brewery – as we do have a lot of sugar in this district.
On the other hand Landlords also have a duty of care to their surroundings and the rest of the community to keep their many empty shops looking clean and presentable.
To start the ball rolling I will give you two bob for every workable idea on this side of the river and on the other side too.
The state of things in Home Hill
The following items need urgent attention in Home Hill:
- the Town Clock is not working
- the flags are ripped
- the pavements are a mess.
These are my personal views only.
How to contact me
You can contact me on my mobile phone or by emailing me.