Speech in Reply to the 2016/17 BCC Budget

A renowned and well-respected philosopher once wrote that “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum… That gives people the sense that there’s free...

Cuts For Much Needed Storm Water Drains

This morning I’m in the budget estimates session for ‘Program 1 – Clean, Green and WaterSmart City’. I asked David McLachlan Councillor for Hamilton Ward Brisbane why council was cutting more than $2 million from Major Drainage Construction...

Undervalued Community Services, Sports and Arts

I’m still in the budget estimates session for community services/sports/arts (called ‘Program 4 – Your Brisbane’ in the budget). This part of the budget covers everything from libraries to men’s sheds to skate parks to community festivals to a...

Community Festivals – Funding and Transparency

Today in budget estimates, Councillor Nicole Johnston asked a straightforward question about how much funding the various suburban community festivals and events will be allocated this financial year. The budget lists a very specific total of $738 109 for all of these...

Wasted Opportunities

One of the dominant stories to come out of this year’s Brisbane City Council budget is the fact that the LNP is taking on significant additional debt to fund new infrastructure. The change in non-current liabilities (see page 9 of the budget) from the 2015/16...

Extra Rates For Empty Investor Properties

One of Brisbane City Council’s main sources of revenue is the quarterly council rates. Much has been made in the media today of the very significant rates rise in this year’s budget (even if you’re a renter and don’t pay rates yourself, this will directly impact you,...