BIG WINNER: The region's rural road network is a big winner from the 2016/17 Maranoa Regional Council budget.
BIG WINNER: The region's rural road network is a big winner from the 2016/17 Maranoa Regional Council budget. Brett Wortman

What are the big winners from the Maranoa Council budget?

ROADS, Roma Airport, sport and geothermal energy are the big winners from the latest Maranoa Regional Council budget.

The $138.7 million budget is low on previously-unannounced projects, but outlined $10.51 million for the Maranoa's rural road network.

This included nearly $5 million for gravel re-sheeting, $3.09 million for rehabilitation and $1.682 million for widening and sealing.

Councillor Janelle Stanford said the funding was necessary to ensure the region's 5646km of rural roads were sustainable for the future.

"Council has significantly increased our rural roadworks program this year, with a further $3.4 million committed from last year,” Cr Stanford said.

"By allocating significant funding towards our rural roads program this financial year, council aims to reduce our maintenance requirements into the future.

"With a packed schedule of works, residents can expect to see a lot of action on our network throughout the year.”

Roma Airport received the next-highest individual funding, with $5.283 million going towards a new overlay on the 1.5km runway.

Councillor Cameron O'Neil said the funds would not come from revenue generated by rates.

"The runway, which was built in 2012, was designed for 16 Q400 flights per week. With traffic over the last four years significantly greater than this, a fresh overlay is now required to keep our facility up to standard,” Cr O'Neil said.

"This runway renovation, coupled with the completion of the current Roma Airport Terminal Redevelopment Project, will see our facility able to effectively manage traffic in the future.

"While we are currently waiting to hear if we have been successful in securing funding for this project, the total cost has been budgeted to come from the Roma Airport reserves - no rating revenue will be touched.”

The previously-announced new netball courts now have a finish date as well, something Cr Peter Flynn is excited for.

"The completion of the netball complex (which is anticipated for late 2017) will be a significant milestone in the implementation of the Bassett Park Master Plan,” he said.

Both geothermal projects for Roma and Mitchell have been fast-tracked to their next respective stages, thanks to around $200,000 from the budget.

"These kinds of financial allocations show that we are committed to taking the appropriate steps to reduce our costs long-term when it comes to electricity,” councillor David Schefe said.

"With environmentally conscious operations becoming a necessary factor in our decisions, these projects (once complete) will be a sustainable and cost effective addition to our operations.”


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