The clock is officially ticking on Gympie council with their last budget now in the public eye.
The clock is officially ticking on Gympie council with their last budget now in the public eye. Carolyn Kaster

We'll soon know if rate rise, red budget sink Gympie council

DO you believe in symbolism?

If so, there's not much more to be said about the odds of the council announcing they're operating in the red for next year's budget the same day a giant hole opens up in Gympie.

If not, there's a few things to digest in what is ultimately this council's final budget before its next election.

Start with the havoc apparently wrought by state land valuations.

Energex and Gympie Regional Council workers attempt to cap a mine-shaft which subsided, resulting in damage to the water supply of Alexander Place residents on Tuesday morning.
A coincidence, or accurate commentary? Donna Jones

The new numbers, which have driven an on-average 6.5 per cent rate rise, may have been outside the council's hands.

What wasn't was the large hike given to many rural ratepayers last year.

I don't know how much crossover there is in these two groups, but I suspect we'll find out in due course.

Of course a 2 per cent rate rise for half the region, while inconvenient, could've been a lot worse.

New Aquatic centre ready for opening Mayor Mick Curran.
Mayor Mick Curran at the aquatic centre, one of several projects he's no doubt hanging his hat on ahead of the next election. Renee Albrecht

But reading between the lines of the budget report it would seem the council is still facing a financial kidney replacement, and instead opted for the "more morphine now” solution hoping the success of the aquatic centre, river walk and upcoming youth precinct are enough to keep the boat afloat.

In the next nine months we'll find out whether this council will be celebrating surviving a maelstrom a la Twister's Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, or floating without hope like Mark Wahlberg in the wake of a Perfect Storm.