OPTIMISTIC: Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan is looking forward to the new year. Picture: Dominic Elsome
OPTIMISTIC: Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan is looking forward to the new year. Picture: Dominic Elsome

Financial security, better services key for council in 2020

BALANCING the books and improving services will be top of the list for the Lockyer Valley Regional Council in 2020.

Mayor Tanya Milligan said the council would be reviewing the “what, why and how of all we do”.

“The main focus will be ensuring our community has financial sustainability to deliver a range of services cost-effectively while having the ability to survive unexpected shocks,” Cr Milligan said.

“We need to remain focused on ensuring we have appropriate planning and development processes in place, whilst ensuring that we remain an attractive and competitive region to encourage business and industry to our area.”

While it might not be something council can do, for the Mayor, 2020 will be a successful year if it includes drought-breaking rain.

“Not soul-destroying torrential rain, but soaking rain to fill our dams and aquifers, and to bring life back into our landscape,” she said.

“Water remains the lifeblood of our community, it is the very essence and existence to who we are in the Lockyer Valley.”

Until those rains come, drought will remain the biggest challenge for the region and council.

But Cr Milligan also listed the Inland Rail, financial security and infrastructure planning as major challenges.

Working with state and federal governments will be vitally important to overcome these challenges, and the Mayor said maintaining work relationships with governments would be on the agenda.

“While we, at a local level, have respectful working relationships with our State and Federal Members, the greatest challenge will be ensuring that their broader counterparts also work together collaboratively to futureproof our communities for the greater good beyond election cycles,” she said.

“With regards to handling these challenges, the answer is respectfully to ensure open and honest communication, however, we will not be weak.”

She said moving into the new year she was most excited for the opportunity to reflect and grow from 2019.

“This reflection makes us strive to do things better, but it also brings with it a sense of excitement, energy and vigour,” she said.

“So, I am looking forward to this and the prospects of potential projects coming to fruition for our community.”