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Budget shows restraint, builds for future

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Finance portfolio spokesperson Cr Steve Cooper said the focus of Council’s 2022-23 budget was maintaining the region’s enviable lifestyle and liveability. Image: Chris Sweetapple.

Bundaberg Regional Council has released a budget “for the times” balancing fiscal restraint with investments that will cater to the region’s future.

This measured approach has resulted in a general rates increase of 3.9 per cent, significantly lower than Queensland CPI which has soared to six per cent.

Finance portfolio spokesperson Cr Steve Cooper said Council’s focus was maintaining the region’s enviable lifestyle and liveability.

“We know the impact the rising cost of living is having on our community which is why we have delivered what is a budget for the times,” Cr Cooper said.

“Council’s facilities and projects are also facing these rising costs which we’ve minimised through a range of savings and cost-cutting measures including solar installations.

“Around 10,400 pensioners – or 23 per cent of our rateable properties – will continue to receive $165 rates concessions which is budgeted at $1.7 million.”

He said the increase in general rates was relative to the on average 12 per cent jump in State Government land valuations earlier this year.

“The valuations were quite volatile throughout most categories however despite significant fluctuations we were able to keep most general rates increases below four per cent,” he said.

“One exception to this volatility was the agricultural sector which remained reasonably constant following significant increases in the previous State Government valuation.

“This saw a general rates increase for agricultural properties of 2.5 per cent.”

Cr Cooper said Council had taken a prudent approach to its capital investment program focusing on priority infrastructure upgrades including the Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre and Anzac Park redevelopment.

“Our capital program for the next 12 months is targeted towards addressing infrastructure upgrades that take advantage of grant funding.

“Through borrowings we’ve ensured that today’s ratepayers are not shouldering the financial burden of generational projects like the Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre and Anzac Park redevelopment.

“We’ve been able to access loans and borrow from our own cash surplus to share this cost into the future.

“Those costs will be spread over the next 20 years and the benefits of these two major projects will be felt for the next 50 plus years.”

Cr Cooper said, for the average urban residential ratepayer this year’s increases would equate to about $1.58 per week. This excludes any individual water consumption charges.

The Community Wellbeing and Environment charge will remain constant this year and support a range of projects including Council contributions to emergency services, disaster management, initiatives which promote healthy and active lifestyles, accessibility and shade improvements at local parks and projects which will protect and enhance natural areas.

View the Council budget documents here.

5 COMMENTS

5 COMMENTS

  1. Great concept. Will our children ever have free access to a water park though? Check out Yeppoon and Hervey Bay. How about one in central Bundaberg or central Bargara. Why do our kids have to miss out? It’s really a big shortfall in what is otherwise so kid friendly. Come on, let’s do it

  2. I seem to remember there was one in Bundaberg years ago which didn’t last too long (went down the gurglar ?). Kids appear to be well catered for so let them go down to the new skatepark or say hello to the “MarsCat” at the library and watch people trip over him/her/it, or
    take advantage of other opportunities.

  3. Pensioners living in the Lakes are getting a raw deal from the council. We pay for our roads street lights etc and have an ave of 2 to 3 units on each std council house block and yet each small unit has to pay full rates. So we pay body corporate to maintain our streets and get nothing from council. We are definitely being over charged and despite repeated approaches to council we are still paying full pensioner rates.

  4. Another rate increase. 25 years in Bargara and rates have increased 1000%. What do we get that’s different. Our rubbish was picked up then and the dump was free.

  5. Wondering if the drainage on Bargara Rd Kalkie is going to be done and also the sewerage which the 13 houses have been wanting for the last 30 yrs but don’t expect us to be paying for your infructure.

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