Gympie council has raised more than $8 million through its economic development levy.
Gympie council has raised more than $8 million through its economic development levy.

Where ratepayers’ $8 million ‘Rattler’ levy was spent

Gympie Regional Council has raised more than $8 million through its "Rattler" levy since it was first introduced in 2016.

But where has it been spent?

Figures released by the council reveal the money raised contributed to more than $14 million in projects across the region since 2016.

This total expenditure included more than $4 million in subsidies from governments and another $2.46 million from the council's own general rates coffers.

The controversial levy was introduced to fund the return of the Mary Valley Rattler.
The controversial levy was introduced to fund the return of the Mary Valley Rattler.

The most expensive projects (outside the Rattler) funded through the levy were the Youth Precinct and Upper Mary St at $3.06 million each.

The Rattler itself got $3.24 million.

More than half of each project's total was covered by Federal and State Government funding.

The Gympie saleyards received $253,000 in funding from 2016-2020, while the council's Gympie Futures economic development initiative was boosted by $1.57 million funding from 2018-2021, including $576,000 in 2018-19 and $547,000 in 2019-20.

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Under the new council $1.81 million is expected to be spent on economic projects, $72,000 more than has raised by the levy in the financial year.

The $3.06 million Upper Mary St renovations were funded with the aid of the levy.
The $3.06 million Upper Mary St renovations were funded with the aid of the levy.

This was a dramatic drop from 2019-20 when the council spent $6.5 million on economic development projects, well above the $1.684 million raised that year.

More than $5.7 million of this was for construction of the Youth Precinct, Upper Mary St and the Kilkivan Equestrian Centre - all projects which received help from other levels of government.

Projects earmarked to be funded through the levy in 2020-21 include new grounds to alleviate the region's sports field squeeze, Imbil's Our Towns project, the Kilkivan town centre garden upgrade and improvements to the Duckpond's all abilities playground.

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