Rates shouldn't be the highlight in our growing city budget

IF LAST year's Ipswich City Council budget was dubbed as a "no frills" feast, this one can only be described as a ration pack.

It's a budget designed to maintain the city's survival, to offer not surprises but a band-aid solution to the region's appetite for growth.

This year there's a 1.4 per cent rates rise.

No increase is ever welcomed, but reasonable residents should acknowledge as the cost of services grows, so must the city's revenue.

The council and Greg Chemello should be praised for delivering the lowest rate increase since pre-2011 floods and growing capital expenditure on last year.

But that's about all there is to write home about.

A low rates rise shouldn't be the highlight of a budget handed down by Queensland's fastest-growing city.

Financial discipline is vital, but so is planning for the future.

A new arterial road is desperately needed for commuters suffering on the single-lane Ripley road, the drivers stuck in Springfield traffic and the business owners battling in the CBD.

Money is allocated to a business case for the Springfield rail expansion, but there's no big-picture investment contained in this budget.

It's a long-term, disciplined plan aimed at safeguarding city finances.

That's exactly what Mr Chemello is there for.