What should members expect from the coming 2021/22 city budget and the discussion surrounding the impending vote.

With chief operating officer Joe McCabe would remain as acting CEO until after the 2021-22 budget was delivered in mid-June, it is expected that not only will the budget be the first in the cities history without a sitting CEO but is set to make waves. Following community engagement in early February, the COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND MARKETING REPORT was released in early March and outlines a clear goal for the 2021/22 city budget. The following predictions are made based on this report and are merely predictions. 

  1. The chamber predicts from findings based on the Southern Gold Coast that it is likely there will be an investment or response of some kind to the 17.35% and 24.22% of very unsatisfied and unsatisfied responses to question on availability, repair or maintenance of parking. This is a fraction lower than suburbs such as Mudgeerabar, Gaven and Pac Pines who recorded the number slightly higher. 
  2. The southern Gold Coast places its safety, health and availability to the beach as a priority in the question of key city outcomes and thus it could be predicted that programs such as the cities beaches program and active programs could see continued investment. Depending on the cities economy and the availability to partake in the programs, it could see an increase from the 2020/21 city budget. 
  3. It's unclear how the city budget could impact a reduction in development approvals and sustainable planning but this is an issue that was widely addressed within the report. Though an issue that would be more aptly focused on the issue of previous city governance and the current legal teams being bound by precedence. Very interesting points made either way. Though within the report there is an overwhelming call for the city to consider developing public spaces and continued investment into initiatives. Arguably an endorsement of the current cities leaderships previous investment into plans such as the Gold Coasts 'GreenHeart' and Palm Beach Aquatic Centre. Public Assets like HOTA could be pointed to as success stories of the 2020/21 budget. 
  4. You can expect the GC LightRail to have serious investment plans, though it's unclear whether the project will have legs for the foreseeable future as the city and state governments jostle over future investments. Following recent developments regarding contracting and financial blow-outs, the traditionally staunch LightRail supporter Mayor Tom Tate has said that ratepayers will not cough up “a single cent more” to cover cost blowouts on the light rail’s extension to Burleigh. It's aptly noted here that 82.9% of respondents outlined fast, frequent and reliable public transport as a key priority during the 2020/21 budget consultations. 
  5. Infrastructure? Who cares? Though our city continues to highlight this as a priority in the cities budget, this years consultation saw a decrease of over 17 per cent. Does this mean we could see less of an investment? No. The survey saw a notable increase in responses surrounding being 'proud of the city' (from 45% to 73%) and is attributed to Gold Coasters having to stay home more in the past 12 months. It's more likely that council will continue these investments and use the increase of 'proudness' as an endorsement of current investment programs.

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