HomeCouncilStrong finances deliver budget relief measures

Strong finances deliver budget relief measures

strong finances budget
Finance portfolio spokesperson Cr Steve Cooper.

Bundaberg Regional Council’s 2023-24 budget has delivered no rise in general rates, for the second time in four years, to provide cost of living relief to the community.

Finance portfolio spokesperson Cr Steve Cooper said it’s one of several measures Council has introduced to address the challenging times being faced nationally due to the current economic climate.

“We are delivering a budget that continues to support our growing community while offering cost of living relief to those that need it most,” Cr Cooper said.

“There will be no increase to general rates for any ratepayer for the second time in four years. In this case, it is across all of the rating categories.

“Pensioners will receive a further boost with the doubling of the rebate which this year will increase from $165 to $330.

“The fact that we’ve achieved these cost relief measures while continuing to deliver major, generational projects in a $167 million capital budget is the result of good planning and good financial management.

“Council has consciously decided to absorb the inflation increases which has allowed us to immediately respond to the impacts of the cost of living crisis being felt by our community.

“We did it in Covid and in fact we came through that better than anticipated which puts us in a great position to be able to offer this level of support again.”

He said in recent years Bundaberg Regional Council rate increases had been at their lowest.

“On average the rate increases over the last five years come in at 1.59%.

“That’s compared to an average of 4.4% over the preceding five years. There has certainly been a significant decline in the scale at which rates have increased.”

In March 2023 Brisbane had the highest CPI nationally at 7.4% but Cr Cooper said Council had ensured that price increases associated with essential services like water, sewerage and waste remained well below CPI.

“None of these residential services have risen by more than 3.35%, and the average is 2.2%, when this year CPI peaked at over 7%,” he said.

He added that there had been no increase to the annual Community Wellbeing and Environment Charge, which remained at $100 for the year, or $50 on each half-yearly rate notice.

“This will help us to continue to provide essential support to our community from funding of emergency services and volunteer-based organisations to rubbish removal from waterways and (dunal) coastal management.

“The full list of supported projects has been made available as part of our ongoing commitment to making these costs transparent to our community.”

He added that Council had approval this year to borrow $30 million for the aquatic centre project but had no need to draw down the loan as it had sufficient cash reserves to progress the project.

“We’re working to improve our debt position while maintaining our commitment to major projects and delivering infrastructure for our growing community.”

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  1. Would love to see Cummins road changes. No drainage and no footpath access in some places forcing people to actually walk on the road in some spots. We have 70 km speed on the highway end, while traffic is so heavy and everyone speeds, while at the other end we have to crawl at 50 km an hour all day when often there are no other cars. Why can’t the fifty zone be in before and after school hours and lower the rest to 60.
    On the highway end of Cummins road the noise is so bad from the traffic at night we can’t open a window. We need a barrier to reduce noise on the inner footpath for several hundred metres. Thanks

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