IPSWICH Council has stunningly divulged it is more than $403m in debt and that $66m of that centres around its controversial Venue-Cinema and shops rebuilding project.
The figures were released by Mayor Teresa Harding last week in conjunction with the details of the council’s 2023-24 budget which will see an increase for ratepayers from last year of 5.5%.
While the mayor refused to say that the $33m blowout in costs at the Venue Building was a major concern there is no doubt it had an impact on the budget.
The entire year’s allocation for maintaining and building new roads is just $49m.
What the mayor did release was that of the $66m debt on the CBD projects $22m of that was still owing from the original $50m purchase in 2009 of the Ipswich Square Shopping Centre.
The size of Ipswich’s debt fails to compare favourably with other nearby councils, with the much bigger Logan Council carrying just a $55.3m debt,
Lockyer Council $10m and Somerset Council which has no debt at all.