Service Level Reviews produce budget savings
An extensive review of council services and operations has provided a platform for council to keep rate increases well under five per cent in the 2011-12 budget to ease cost of living pressures on residents.
Deputy Mayor Darryl Camilleri said council had focused on the long term future in formulating the budget, to ensure it continued to meet the expectations of the community in an affordable way.
“As a high growth area, we have a buoyant economy fuelled by construction projects and the might of the resources sector, but the rising cost of living, increasing fuel prices and electricity costs are putting a strain on household budgets,” he said.
“Council also faces the challenge of providing the necessary infrastructure and planning for future population increases,” he said.
“This needs to be achieved against a backdrop of dwindling subsidies and financial assistance from the State Government and an expectation of the community funding future work,” he said.
The council budget will be handed down on Wednesday, June 29.
Council has reshaped its 10 year Long Term Financial Plan, which provides a blueprint of the organisations estimated future financial position in a desire to deliver modest rate rises over the next decade.
Cr Camilleri said last year’s ten year modelling to cope with significant loss of state subsidies foreshadowed annual rate rises in the vicinity of 10 per cent.
“Operational efficiencies coupled with reprioritisation of our capital works program has laid the foundations to build a long term plan based on a much lower rate increase every year over the next decade,” he said.
CEO Peter Franks said council had established a Business Improvement Team to continually review its services to find efficiencies.
“As we issue levies and charges for services provided, it is essential we look at what we can do to save operational costs and this budget sees minimal cost increases over last year,” he said.
Cr Camilleri said council was looking to deliver an average rate rise well below five per cent in 2011-2012 as it recognised the current cost pressures faced by residents and local businesses.
“Last year’s double digit rate rise couldn’t be sustained by the community and as an organisation, we remain committed to providing efficient, cost effective services.
“This means changing what we do and how we do it to meet the community’s expectations,” Cr Camilleri said.
Contact: Mackay Regional Council
Phone: 1300 MACKAY (1300 622 529)
Published: 16 Jun 2011