Council’s budget returns to surplus

Published: 23 Jun 2021

Council's $298 million budget is forecast to return to surplus in 2021-2022 following COVID-impacted deficits for the past two years.

And the 10-year financial forecast is tipping ongoing surpluses for every year of the long-term model.

Mayor Greg Williamson said as a part of that return to surplus, a 1.5 per cent increase in rates revenue across all categories for 2021-2022 was adopted at today’s budget meeting.

“This is lower than the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which for March was 1.7 per cent,’’ Mayor Williamson said.

“The average residential ratepayer in Mackay will pay about $2967 for the 12 months,’’ he said.

“That is up from about $2924, so is an extra $43 for the year, or about 84 cents a week.

“Council believes the modest 1.5 per cent rise will ensure long-term financial sustainability, with no deterioration in services levels.

“This rate rise will ensure council remains financially stable and can continue to deliver vital infrastructure projects for the community, as well as maintaining the existing network of assets, like roads, water, sewerage, parks and gardens.

“The moderate increase is primarily needed to finance increasing costs associated with maintaining our existing and growing asset base.

“Due to the cost of sourcing contractors and materials for projects increasing because of competition for resources in the current market, a small increase in rates is needed.”

Mayor Williamson said it would be good to return to surplus in 2021-2022 and council was in a healthy financial position, with further surpluses forecast for ensuring years.

“This budget is presented in a period of continued uncertainty due to COVID-19 that will have an effect on our region and also a profound financial and social impact nationally and internationally,’’ he said.

“This is a financially responsible budget for our ratepayers that will also ensure we continue to deliver on liveability for our residents.”