In response to cost of living pressures Bundaberg Regional Council has delivered a budget with a 0% increase in general rates while doubling the pensioner rates rebate.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said sustained sound financial management had put Council in a position to provide an immediate response to the current economic climate, which is not unique to the Bundaberg Region.
“We know that our community is dealing with cost of living pressures and have worked hard to once again deliver a budget that will offer relief during difficult times,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“This is the second budget in four years that has delivered a 0% rate increase.
“These decisions don’t happen overnight. Many months of planning have gone into achieving this result for our community and strategic decision making over a number of years has placed us in a strong financial position to allow us to do so.
“Just as we were able to immediately respond during the Covid crisis in our 2020-21 budget, we have again delivered a 0% increase in general rates.
“Doubling the pensioner rates rebate to $330, coupled with the high number of eligible ratepayers in our community, will see us deliver one of the highest rebates in the state, in terms of the percentage of general rates which we are now giving back to our community.
“Through this, we’re ensuring that additional assistance reaches some of those in our region who are most vulnerable.”
Mayor Dempsey said this cost of living relief was being delivered while Council continued to deliver essential services and build community infrastructure that would leave a legacy for generations to come.
“Achieving these outcomes for our community while delivering generational projects including the new Bundaberg Aquatic Centre, Anzac Park redevelopment and Moore Park Beach Masterplan is an indication of our strong financial position and something which should offer our community confidence.
“These are legacy projects which will ensure we are keeping our community moving forward and infrastructure will continue to meet the needs of our growing region.
“The liveability and lifestyle we enjoy in the Bundaberg Region is the envy of many and we have seen evidence of that in recent times as our population booms, now exceeding 102,000.”
He said other budget highlights within the $167 million capital program included road and pathway upgrades, equipment which will increase recycling, finalisation of the new Wintergarden Community Hub and a new Disaster Management Coordination Centre.
“We’re experiencing our highest economic growth in 16 years, boasting record breaking job numbers in our region and building generational infrastructure that will leave a lasting legacy well into the future.
“Together we are Building Australia’s Best Regional Community and proving that we are the ultimate destination to live, work and play.”
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