Mayor Greg Williamson said council was at a crossroads and the 2017-18 budget was directly attributed to a proactive, sensible, disciplined approach to cutting operational costs without impacting any services to the community.
“We have maintained services, introduced cost-efficiency initiatives, reduced our borrowings and made a significant investment in much needed infrastructure,” he said.
Council has committed to a modest increase of 2.5 per cent on all rates and charges.
The only exception is the Roads Improvement charge which has been maintained at $20.
This means 36,478 ratepayers face an increase of between $1 and $100 on their total annual rates bill.
Nearly 4000 ratepayers will see a reduction in what they pay.
“We have worked extremely hard to keep this increase as low as possible to get the right balance between sensible economic planning, infrastructure delivery and maintaining a vibrant, sustainable community,” Cr Williamson said.
“This is about protecting our friendly, enjoyable lifestyle.”
Council’s total revenue for the 17-18 financial year is the same as what the organisation received in 2012-2013.
Cr Williamson said this was despite council continuing to deliver new projects, maintaining existing assets, providing festivals, events, community grants and paying rising fuel and power costs.
“We have started a first principles review of 22 operational areas and some of the initiatives identified in this process have been implemented in the budget,” he said.
The Non-Principal Place of Residence premium has been reduced to 7.5 per cent to provide relief to local mum and dad investors and those who own more than one residential property in the region.
A $108 million capital works program will create jobs, enhance the region’s livability and facilitate future development opportunities.
Almost half the funds will be spent renewing existing assets plus $6 million directed towards projects to be delivered under the State Government’s Works for Queensland program.
“There is a real exciting vibe and positivity in the region and this budget responds to our current economic challenges while still meeting the growing demands from the community,” Cr Williamson said.
Council debt will be reduced by $12.3 million next financial year, with projections of further council debt reduction over the next four years
For more details on the 2017-2018 Budget click here