Budget 2011-12 – Budget eases cost of living pressures
Easing cost of living pressures on households and restoring the road network are the key components of a $417 million Mackay Regional Council budget.
In handing down the budget today, Mayor Col Meng said the “back to basics” budget, which delivered an increase of $1.78 per week for the average ratepayer, laid the foundations for the region to progress in an affordable and sustainable way.
“We have focussed on the fundamentals and delivered a rate increase of about 3 per cent to ease the financial strain on our customers,” he said.
“This budget is back to the basics of roads, water and waste – the very heart of Local Government.”
Cr Meng said managing the impacts on the cost of living was central part of the budget, in the wake of a comprehensive review of council services, expenses and operations.
“We have looked at every program to reduce operational costs and developed a long term financial blueprint to ensure more funds could be directed towards delivering critical infrastructure,” he said.
The average general rate will increase by 3 per cent – among the lowest increase in regional Queensland, while water and sewerage charges jump by about 5 per cent.
When all services and levies are included, the average residential ratepayer faces an annual increase of about $93.
Council has allocated $119 million to Capital Works, which includes $34.3 million of new money for roads and drainage work and $51 million for water and wastewater infrastructure.
Finance portfolio councillor Darryl Camilleri said the budget clearly takes into account the need to ease the strain on families.
“We face enormous growth challenges and are confronted with a two-tiered economy, but we have a responsibility to make the difficult decisions to ensure we continue to prosper,” he said.
“We have made the tough call on how some services are provided and initiated other operational efficiencies.” Cr Camilleri said.
Cr Camilleri said council remained committed to “tightening its belt” with a number of Business Improvement Teams tasked to find further savings and initiate new methods of doing business.
“The outside pressures from government and rising utility costs make it imperative to continually find better ways of doing business,” he said.
Contact: Mackay Regional Council
Phone: 1300 MACKAY (1300 622 529)
Published: 29 Jun 2011