Bundaberg Regional Council has reflected on its achievements in the 2022-23 financial year following the adoption of its Annual Report.
The Annual Report is delivered each year as a statutory requirement and contains an overview of Council’s financial performance and its performance in delivering on its Corporate Plan.
Among the many achievements of the Annual Report 2022/23 were:
- The commencement of once-in-a-generation projects the Bundaberg Aquatic Centre and the Anzac Park redevelopment.
- The introduction of a First Nations Strategy which now allows us to work towards implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan.
- A focus on infrastructure that improves lifestyle throughout the last 12 months with projects like the Elliott Heads recreation plaza delivered and work underway to naturalise Washpool Creek.
- Council’s commitment to the environment, recognised through the adoption of the Towards Net Zero strategy and the approval of a Food Organic and Garden Organic bin collection trial.
CEO Steve Johnston, in his message within the report, said the 2022-23 financial year had been marked by major challenges and significant achievements.
“Cost of living pressures nationally were and continue to be felt locally in our region by the community and Council,” Mr Johnston said.
“In response to these pressures Council delivered a budget in June with no increase in general rates and price increases to services like waste, wastewater and water were kept well below CPI, which in March 2023 peaked at 7.4%.
“Council continued to deliver high quality and diverse services to our community during what was a difficult economic climate.
“All of this was achieved while we commenced generational projects which have been on the ‘wish list’ of successive Councils for well over a decade.
“Projects like the Bundaberg Aquatic Centre, Anzac Park redevelopment and Moore Park Beach masterplan are termed catalytic projects because they have the capacity to foster more development, growth and jobs within our region.
“These are projects that needed to happen for the benefit and liveability of our community now and into the future.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey added the aquatic centre would positively impact all residents,
offering enduring economic, social and health benefits for years ahead.
Building upon these catalytic initiatives, our region witnessed a 16-year high of our gross regional product,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“This was the second consecutive year of record-breaking growth, an unprecedented feat in Council’s history.
“Sound financial management exercised over the past seven years has enabled Council to effectively respond to our community’s needs, while building reserves to facilitate key infrastructure, sustaining generations to come.
“As we celebrate what we achieved over the past twelve months, we must recognise that our journey is far from over.
“We stand at the threshold of an exciting future, with the accomplishments of today
serving as steppingstones towards greater heights of success.”
The Annual Report detailed the Community Financial Report and the Annual Financial Statements.
Within the Statutory Information Council’s commitment to supporting its community was evidenced through total concessions to ratepayers of $2,354,138, which included pensioner rates concessions, concessions to community organisations and water leak relief.
A total of $849,388 was also expended on community grants and donations to community organisations.
Mr Johnston said Council was in an extremely enviable financial position compared to many of the other Councils in the state.
“Council’s sound financial management was once again recognised by the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) in its biennial credit review,” he said.
“Our QTC rating, based on a snapshot in time up to November 2022, reflects our continued delivery of balanced operating results, highly controlled revenue and financial flexibility.
“My sincere thanks are extended to all employees and councillors for their dedication and cooperation over the year to deliver services and projects which help to build Australia’s best regional community.”
Council’s Annual Report is made available on the Our Performance section of its website.