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Cost savings, efficiency priority for new Council

Cost savings
Finding cost savings are a priority for the new Council

It may be early days for the new Council but budget deliberations are already well underway and tough decisions are being made with a clear “back to basics” direction.

Mayor Helen Blackburn said assessing Bundaberg Regional Council’s financial position was her first priority when she took office and it was immediately clear that improvement was needed.

“A briefing has been provided to Councillors which has identified major risks for our community if this organisation continues in its existing direction,” Mayor Blackburn said.

“I have no wish to sugarcoat the current situation for residents – our financial position is not as strong as it should be and we need to act and act in a hurry.

“The upcoming budget is going to need to address Council’s current financial trajectory in order to ensure Bundaberg Regional Council remains financially viable.

“I don’t want any shocks for residents at budget time which is why I want to share openly with you the situation this new Council has been presented with.

“Having been alerted to this financial position Councillors are galvanised in their resolve to work together to find solutions while at the same time minimising the impacts of the current situation on our community.”

Mayor Blackburn said a concerning trend was highlighted during the financial briefing where Council costs had been increasing above its revenue generation.

“As a result of the financial position this new Council team has inherited it is clear that we will have some difficult decisions to make but rest assured we are committed to making those decisions in the best interests of our region and its residents.”

Mayor Blackburn said cost savings were already being identified across the organisation.

“Costs are rising across the board for everyone – Council included – so I have made it clear that where cost savings can be made they should.

“Finding operational efficiencies will be of the utmost importance to this Council team.

“We’re also looking at things like deferring non-urgent capital works and reviewing business interests while still continuing to deliver on those essential services that our community expects from their local Council.”

Details for Council’s 2024/25 budget will not be finalised until it is handed down in July.

“I remain committed to getting back to basics,” Mayor Blackburn said.

“It has become clear through Council’s current financial position that all of our goals cannot be achieved overnight but I can assure you the entire Council group is united in its wish to deliver the best budget we can for our community.”

Cost savings graph of historic operating result
Cost savings story graph of operating performance
Cost savings story graph of liquidity
Cost savings story graph of fiscal flexibility

The time and date for Council’s budget meeting will be made available online when confirmed where it will also be livestreamed.



  1. We appreciate honesty from our new Mayor but it would be nice to have more specific meaning and examples of what she’s referring to when she says ‘Back To Basic’ and ‘Councils Current Financial Position’

  2. It’s all well and good saying that the new council is about financial fiscal savings. We can all draw lines and graphs saying this is where we are at, but the bottom line is ” WE the ratepayers, the ones who pay for future construction, ongoing maintenance, and the generous salary that you all receive, we need to see that you are doing something for us in regards to rate relief. What happened to the early discount that applied when you paid your rates early or on time ? And as for the poor people from Svensson Heights who are Guinea pigs for this green bin trial, I ask you Lord Mayoress and Councillor Gary Kirk to go for a drive around our are to see how many ratepayers are leaving their bins out the front of their premises because they stink. They absolutely stink and full of maggots, because the red lid bin gets picked up once a fortnight.

  3. Buxton, the hiatus of Bundaberg Regional Council, has a valuation increase that is ludicrous. probably end up bankrupting all us oldies down here. a hospital and a water park in Bundaberg is of value to us, plain nuts. i forgot, we are now a suburb of Bundaberg.

  4. Bundaberg since Covid has boomed, many have arrived, house prices up, economy up, construction buoyant and yet FY 21 22 + 23 shows declining fiscal performance by the council. What are the real reasons behind this slide ? The language seems to be softening us up for a rate increase come July. Us right now 613sqm rates $3600 pa on a house worth 325k – 1.1% / Brisbane annual rates own/occ $1800pa. Aust average $748pa.

  5. It seems strange that there is a decrease in income while a huge increase in the number of rate payers. The number of people moving to Bundaberg, the number of houses being built. The new mayor is softening us up for a big rate rise.

  6. One can only hope cost savings will be made through streamlining operations rather than slugging the ratepayers again. We already have one of the highest rates bills around, and we sure have been getting value for money.

  7. One would hope cost savings will be made by streamlining internal practices for better efficiency, rather than slugging the ratepayers again. We already have one of the highest rates cost and we sure aren’t getting value for money

  8. If we are going back to basics Mayor, can we start by having our regular garbage bin emptied every week? The amount of flies in our area, particularly over the hotter months is out of control and the area stinks to high heaven on the red bin day with garbage bin lids opened and rubbish piled up high. Incidentally, our rates in Avenell Heights are much higher than what we were paying in Brisbane and I cant understand why.

  9. When is the council going to start looking after areas outside of the town.
    We live in Bungadoo which is between Bundaberg and Gin Gin,and yes we pay over a thousand dollars a year in rates just to get our garbage bin emptied once a week,we don’t have water sewer or street lighting and only get the dirt road at one end of snake Creek rd graded when I ring council asking for it to be done.
    We was notified that the bitumen end of snake Creek rd was going to be resealed in February,it is now May and nothing done,so when is the council going to start bringing these areas up to standard.

  10. You would think that before council committed itself to expensive new vanity projects like the new swimming pool complex, due diligence would have been done to ensure we could afford it. Sadly, apparently not. So, who is to blame?

  11. This council is behaving as you would expect- blaming previous administrations. Transparency was a promise but I doubt we will see any manifestation of that.
    Promises regarding rates are obscure and repaying the real sector for their support may mean a real hit for many others.
    Back to basics needs an explanation as this could be an excuse for lack of foresight and progress.
    Cut the rubbish. Let’s hear the real agenda.

  12. I hope the council really look at how these departments are run there are a heap of ways to get costs down. It’s up to the the councillor in each portfolio to dig deep and ask questions

  13. It’s no wonder the previous Council got into so much debt when they threw away money on totally useless projects such as the dog park at Moore Park Beach. They wasted $80,000 on ruining a park that had been set up by the local Lions for the use of everyone for the sake of a maximum of 3 dogs that would use it each week. This is an area where there is more than enough space for dogs to run around, unlike built up areas. Add to the initial cost there is an ongoing cost to Council to regularly clean and maintain it!
    Let us hope our new Council does not follow this ridiculous example.

  14. Can the Council post some information here about this dreadful garbage trial. Was there any community consultation before the trial was introduced?. How much money was wasted in purchasing the new green-lidded bins? Were any long-term contracts entered into with anyone to take the green waste that is being collected? Is it going to be costly for the Council to pull out of the scheme and restore our previous garbage collection scheme? Will the cost of this trial prevent the Council from proceeding with the promised re-introduction of a curbside collection service for larger items that are cluttering up our backyards?


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