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Gladstone Regional Council 2011-2012 Budget
I would take this opportunity to speak to the highlights of the budget. My full report is as tabled.
This budget is a conservative budget which seeks to minimise rate increases while still providing the necessary infrastructure and services to effectively manage the pressures of growth being experienced in this region.
Council believes that the Federal and State governments should be providing more assistance to this region.
My Council will continue to press them in this regard.
This budget will be the first under the State Governments new 'site valuation' methodology. This has seen huge valuation increases in some areas and valuation decreases in others.
The only way Council can mitigate the impact of these changes is to maintain the existing rate cap of 10% for rural and residential properties and a 15% cap for business and light industrial properties.We continue to deliver in this regard.
In this budget, Council has recognised the plight of high valuation residential properties who have continued to face large valuation increases by introducing a banding system for valuations over $650,000. This predominantly includes waterfront properties in Gladstone, Boyne Island, Tannum Sands, Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy.
The CPI for the last 12 months has been 3.8%. The local government cost index for this period was 4.2%. The alarming prediction is that this index will be approximately 7.5% for the ensuing financial year due to the increased State wide demand for reconstruction resources because of the disasters at the beginning of the year.
General rate revenue generated from the most sectors of our community will increase by 2.8% next year.
The major emphasis, in terms of expenditure, will be to deliver approximately $50 million in flood damage repairs on our roads. That will be our main focus.
There will be no increase in the current standard refuse charge of $255 per service.
Domestic sewerage charges for the 2011-2012 year will see charges in Gladstone, Boyne/Tannum and Calliope increase by $1 per week.
In line with Council's 10-year phase in of parity pricing for access charges for all sewerage schemes, the charge at Agnes Water/Seventeen Seventy has not been increased.
Domestic water access charges for the 2011-2012 year will see charges increase by 50 cents per week in the Lake Awoonga Scheme, 65 cents per week in the Miriam Vale/Bororen Scheme and 25 cents per week in the Agnes Water/Seventeen Seventy Scheme.
The consumption charge in the Miriam Vale/Bororen and the Agnes Water/Seventeen Seventy Schemes remain unchanged consistent with the policy of moving to parity pricing over a ten year period.
The price for water in the Lake Awoonga treated water supply will increase from $1.50 per kilolitre to $1.95 per kilolitre, which continues to reflect the overall cost of water to Council. This is the water price charged by the Gladstone Area Water Board under a pricing mechanism which has been independently reviewed by the Queensland Competition Authority.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Councillors and the staff led, by the CEO, for the enormous effort that you have all put into this process, which began in February this year. It has been a team effort.
Congratulations to all involved.
July 5, 2011