Southern Downs Regional Council mayor Tracy Dobie.
Southern Downs Regional Council mayor Tracy Dobie. Liana Turner

It's Groundhog Day for Warwick

DON'T expect any sexy new council-funded facilities on the Southern Downs for a decade.

That was the starkly honest response Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie gave when asked what new infrastructure she'd like to see in the Warwick region next year and beyond.

"When I look around our region, we have a lot of infrastructure and a small population and most of that infrastructure is underutilised. For example, we have four swimming pools and three council chambers,” Councillor Dobie said.

"My goal is about upgrading, enhancing and repairing what we already have rather than spending money on large new projects.”

Dog parks, an expanded skate park and more entertainment activities for young people are high on the wishlists of Southern Downs residents, Cr Dobie said.

"They are the smaller, achievable projects that would be wonderful for the region and will still be considered.

"But I also have to look ten to 15 years down the track at the very important unsexy infrastructure that will make sure our region grows and is sustainable in the future.”

Street upgrades, carpark construction, water and waste management are among key long-term council commitments.

"Council still has a large debt ($28 million) so we don't have the financial reserves to spend on facilities and projects that would be nice to have but aren't vital,” Cr Dobie said.

"In the next decade we can see what we have achieved (paying off debt) and then look at what we would like to have rather than just what we need.”



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